Public transport journeys dropped significantly during the pandemic

The Scottish Transport Statistics publication released today shows that the number of journeys being made by public transport in Scotland fell markedly from 502 million in 2019 to 153 million in 2020.

Transport and travel habits in Scotland were significantly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, with restrictions on travel and daily activity in place for large parts of 2020.

The statistics show that there were 127 million bus journeys in 2020, accounting for 83% of all public transport journeys. Bus journeys fell by 65% between 2019 and 2020 and are down 69% over the past 5 years.

There were 14.4 million passenger journeys on ScotRail services in 2020/21, a decrease of 85% compared with 2019/20.

Motor traffic also fell in 2020. The number of motor vehicles registered in Scotland (3.0 million) is at an all-time high but the distance driven by motor vehicles on roads decreased by 22% over the past year to hit 37.9 billion vehicle kilometres in 2020.

Other findings presented in the publication include:

  • There were 7 million air passengers at Scottish airports in 2020, a decrease of 76 per cent in the last year and 72% over the past 5 years.
  • There were 4.9 million passengers on ferry services in 2019, with 4.1 million passengers on routes entirely within Scotland. Ferry passenger numbers have decreased by 53% over the past year.

Published 23 Mar 2022 Tags