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Cars remain dominant mode of transport

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The car continues to be the dominant means of transport in all EU countries compared with journeys by train, bus and coach, plane or boat, while Cyprus is slightly below the European average, according to Eurostat.

In 2021, transport by car in Cyprus accounted for 76.3% of passenger-kilometres (79.7% in the EU), compared with 12.6% for planes (EU 7.3%) and 11.1% for coaches, buses or trolley buses (EU 7.1%).

Cyprus recorded 0% in sea transport (0.3% in the EU), while train transport, which does not exist in Cyprus, amounted to 5.6% in the EU.

The share of passenger-kilometres by passenger car in the total transport performance by all modes in the EU was 73.1% in 2011 and recorded small deviations around this figure until 2019.

In 2020, there was an increase in the share of cars in the total transport performance to 81.9%.

This does not represent an actual increase in the number of passenger-kilometres by car but mainly reflects the strong decrease in transport by air due to the impact of the COVID-19 restrictions.

Meanwhile, in Cyprus, there was a gradual reduction in the share of passenger cars in total transport by all modes from 2011, when it stood at 69.4%, to 59.9% in 2019.

However, the data does not show a corresponding increase in the share of public transport since the reduction of the share of passenger cars is connected to the gradual increase in the use of air transportation.

Therefore, in 2020, during the pandemic, the share of the use of passenger cars increased to 79.4% (while the share of air travel dropped from 26.5% in 2019 to 9.1) and decreased slightly in 2021 to 76.3% (while air travel increased to 12.6%).

Trains, planes, buses

In 2021, compared with 2011, public transportation, such as trains, coaches, buses and trolleybuses, decreased in both Cyprus and the EU.

More specifically, the share of coaches, buses and trolley buses dropped from 15.5% to 11.1% in Cyprus and 9.0% to 7.1% in the EU.

The EU also saw a decrease in the share of trains, from 6.6% to 5.6%.

The share of air passenger-kilometres was 15.1% in Cyprus and 10.9% in the EU in 2011, and by 2019 had gradually increased to 26.5% in Cyprus and 15.0% in the EU.

The pandemic significantly impacted the sector in 2020, bringing its share down to the lowest point in the decade: 9.1% in Cyprus and 5.7% in the EU.

In 2021, the share recovered to 12.6% in Cyprus and 7.3% in the EU.

Transport by car had the highest share in the total transport performance in Lithuania (91.7%), followed by the Netherlands (85.4%) and Finland (85.2%).

In terms of air transport, Croatia registered the highest share (25.4%) of air passenger-kilometres in the total performance by all transport modes, followed by Bulgaria (16.3%) and Spain (13.1%).

For coaches, buses and trolleybuses, Malta had the highest share (13.3%), with Hungary (12.8%) and Ireland (12.4%) coming next.

As for rail transport, Austria continues to be the top performer with the highest share (8.6%) of rail passenger-kilometres in the total transport performance, followed by France (8.3%) and the Netherlands (8.0%).

When it comes to sea transport, the highest shares of passenger-kilometres by sea vessel were registered in Croatia (2.7%), Greece (1.6%) and Estonia (1.5%).