Public transport journeys show recovery from the pandemic

The Scottish Transport Statistics publication released today shows that the number of journeys being made by public transport in Scotland rose markedly from 294 million in 2021 to 396 million in 2022. This compares to 497 million journeys recorded in 2019, the year prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Transport and travel habits in Scotland were profoundly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Figures from 2022 show large increases in travel and daily activity, when compared to 2020 and 2021.

The statistics show that there were 301 million bus journeys in 2022, accounting for 76% of all public transport journeys. Bus journeys rose by 29% between 2021 and 2022 but were still down 17% compared to the number of journeys in 2019.

There were 63.7 million passenger journeys on ScotRail services in 2022/23, an increase of 36% compared with 2021/22, but 34% lower than the 96 million passenger journeys in 2019/20.

Road traffic also rose in 2022. The total distance driven by all vehicles on roads increased by 9% compared with 2021 to hit 47.4 billion vehicle kilometres in 2022. The number of motor vehicles registered in Scotland (3.1 million) is at an all-time high, following a modest increase from 2021.

Other findings presented in the publication include:

  • There were 21.5 million air passengers at Scottish airports in 2022, more than triple the number in 2021, although this was still down 26% compared with 2019.
  • There were 9.3 million passengers on ferry services in 2022, with 7.6 million passengers on routes entirely within Scotland. Ferry passenger have increased by 21% compared with 2021, but were 11% lower than in 2019.
  • On-road cycling is estimated to have decreased by 3% in 2022 compared to 2021. However, following an increase in cycling during the pandemic, this was still 16% higher than 2019.

Read the Scottish Transport Statistics