Rail passengers in 2020 between 208 and 240 m, UTK forecast shows


The forecast of the impact of Covid-19 epidemic on rail passenger transport carried out by the Office of Rail Transport shows that by the end of the year the number of rail passengers will be between 208 and 240 m. The pandemic will reduce the number of passengers by 100 m as compared to 2019.

Four scenarios were built in the forecast of the number of passengers prepared by UTK. In the most optimistic scenario, a downward trend in passenger numbers is expected to slow by the end of October. The average value of the dynamics in the last 3 months was used to calculate the growth in September and October based on month-to-month dynamics in 2019. However, in November and December the upward trend most likely will slow down. In the second scenario, the results for 2019 (minus the standard deviation from January - August 2020) were adopted as a basis for predictions for the remaining months of 2020. The third scenario envisages a decline in the number of passengers between September and December similar to the drop between January and August. The most pessimistic scenario predicts that the number of passengers in November and December will drop at a similar rate as in April and May.

The forecast shows that as compared to 2019 results the drop in passenger volumes ranges from 29% in the optimistic scenario to over 38% in the pessimistic one. If the drop rate observed till August 2020 will be same in the seconf half of the year, the decline in passenger number by end of the year will be over 34%. The results for each of the scenarios are: 240 m passengers in the optimistic scenario, 231 m passengers in the second scenario, 220 m passengers in the third scenario and 208 m passengers in the pessimistic one.

- Coronavirus has a huge impact on passenger transport. According to our forecast it will be approximately 100 m rail passengers less than in 2019. This number alone shows the scale of the epidemic. However, safety and comfort of traveling by train or well constructed timetable can attract passengers. The growing volume of passengers from 6 m in April to 20 m in August confirms that the confidence slowly returns – comments Ignacy Góra, the President of the Office of Rail Transport.

Since 2014 the number of rail passengers was continuously growing. In 2019 it reached almost 336 m. The upward trend was only halted by the coronavirus epidemic. In January and February 2020 the passenger volume increased by 7% and 9% respectively as compared to 2019. The largest drop was in April – 20 m passengers (77%) less than in 2019. Since April passengers were slowly returning to rail – in July and August the drops were 33% and 29% respectively as compared to 2019.


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