Coronavirus has left its mark on passenger statistics: The far-reaching contact restrictions introduced in 2020 have almost halved the number of people travelling by bus and train compared to the year before. But one thing has proven true once again: Public mobility is essential.
30.2 million ticket check-ins on all public transport across South Tyrol in 2020: That’s 45% fewer journeys than in the previous year, which – in a continuation of the invariably high passenger numbers registered in recent years – had seen a record total of 54.4 million check-ins.
Regional rail transport saw just under 5.3 million ticket check-ins: a sharp drop compared to the over 10 million journeys recorded in 2019. Bus travel, too, suffered a similar decline: In 2020, a total 13.2 million tickets were checked in on regional buses, down from 22.9 million the year before. And SASA buses registered 10.5 million check-ins – the previous year had seen 19.3 million journeys.
The lowest passenger numbers by far were recorded during the first lockdown from mid-March to early May 2020. During that time, bus and train services were reduced considerably. Starting from July and August, and especially in September, significantly more people began using public transport again.
There has been much debate about front-line professions and key services in the Covid crisis, and especially recently, it has become very apparent that public mobility is a crucial pillar for the fabric of our economy and society. Let’s remember that in difficult times – be it a global pandemic or extreme weather – for our many train conductors and bus drivers, working from home is unfortunately not yet an option.