A decrease in the number of passengers from 335 million in 2019 to 209 million in 2020 is a result of the pandemic and reduced mobility of travellers. Workers, students and pupils worked or learned remotely and the use of public transport decreased. Rail freight carriers recorded slight drops. Intermodal transport was quite immune to the pandemic.
The report shows that the COVID-19 pandemic mostly affected passenger transport. During the first two months of 2020 the number of passengers was even higher than in 2019. The drop in the number of travellers was in March and reached the lowest level in April. During the pandemic limits on places in collective public transport were introduced. The transition to remote work and distance learning also reduced Poles' demand for travel. Only in the summer months the number of passengers visibly increased, only to drop again at the end of the year.
- When we look at statistics, it is difficult to compare 2020 to any other year since we began to collect data. Despite the difficult pandemic situation, rail carriers in Poland faced those challenges and proved that rail transport is safe for passengers - says Ignacy Góra, President of the Office of Rail Transport.
The freight results for 2020, although weaker than in previous years, confirm that rail freight in Poland has great potential. In transport of goods intermodal transport is gaining importance and its market share measured by weight of transported goods increased by 10.7%.
- Intermodal transport is on rise and this trend has been maintained for years. 2020 was record-breaking - nearly 23.8 million tonnes of goods were transported via intermodal - comments Ignacy Góra, President of the Office of Rail Transport. In transport of goods, and in particular in intermodal, rail transport turned out to be a very good alternative to road transport. Due to pandemic transport restrictions and obligatory quarantine for people crossing the border, railways allowed for smooth delivery. Despite the difficult situation caused by the pandemic, freight transport was functioning efficiently, both on domestic and international routes.
The report contains data on the entire railway market in Poland: passenger and freight transport, infrastructure and rolling stock. A separate chapter is added to show impact of COVID-19 pandemic on rail sector.
This annual report on rail transport market operations is prepared on the basis of data submitted to the Office of Rail Transport by rail companies (carriers, infrastructure managers etc.) and supplements and exceeds the scope of statistics, studies and other publications. The Office of Rail Transport publishes these reports annually, by 31 July, in the Public Information Bulletin. The obligation to publish the report results from Art. 15b (1) of the Railway Transport Act 2003. The Office of Rail Transport has been publishing these reports since 2011 and they constitute a valuable source of information on rail transport market in Poland.
The report (in Polish) is available here
Detailed statistical data are available at dane.utk.gov.pl