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ACM Transport Monitor: passengers in 2019 travelled over 25 billion kilometers on public transport

Today, the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has published its Transport Monitor, which is the successor to the Rail Monitor. With this monitor, ACM provides an overview of public transportation in the Netherlands. The monitor reveals, among other facts, that passengers in 2019 travelled over 25 billion kilometers on public transport, of which more than 19 billion kilometers by train. The monitor describes the market trends and developments until 2020, and provides insight into, among other aspects, the costs of transport for passengers and taxpayers. This first edition of the monitor covers the period through 2019, and therefore does not yet contain any data about the state of affairs during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which has had an enormous impact on the public-transport market.

The total volume of passenger-kilometers was 25.1 billion in 2019, and, over the past five years, has steadily increased. The most passenger-kilometers, by far, were generated by the train, the majority of which was generated on the main rail network, and the remainder on the regional rail network. The increase in passenger-kilometers between 2015 and 2019 is 11%, which is an average annual growth of 2.6%. Between 2015 and 2019, the volume of passenger-kilometers by bus increased by 9%, by tram only by 1%, by metro by 31%, and by train by 11%.


Passengers paid, on average, 23 cents per kilometer for riding the bus or metro, 35 cents for riding the tram, and 14 cents for riding the train. The rest of the costs per kilometer are supplemented by taxpayers, which was 19 cents per kilometer for the bus, 15 cents for the tram, 1 cent for the metro, and 10 cents for trips on regional trains. The prices mentioned in the Transport Monitor do not include the costs for building the infrastructure, such as bus lanes, tram tracks, and metro tunnels.

Revenue and subsidies

In 2019, the total revenue of the public transport sector was 4 billion euros. Between 2015 and 2019, total revenue increased by over 20%. For the different modes of transportation, the increases were 20% for the bus, 12% for the tram, 34% for the metro, and 20% for the train. In almost all cases, subsidies are given to public-transport companies, except for the main rail network, where Dutch Railways NS pays the Dutch government for the concession. For the same period, subsidies slightly increased by 19 million euros (+3%) to 0.7 billion euros.

Public-transport companies

The Dutch public-transport market for bus, tram, metro, and train consists of concessions. The concessions for domestic rail services are operated by Dutch Railways NS, Arriva, Keolis, Qbuzz, and Transdev (Connexxion). The majority of concessions for tram, metro and train services are granted directly to public-transport companies. Most bus concessions are put out to tender.

About the Transport Monitor

The Transport Monitor provides an overview of the market trends and developments for bus, tram, metro, and train services, as well as rail freight transport.