A new global study carried out by Savanta ComRes on behalf of Hitachi Rail has surveyed 12,000 people across 12 cities to assess attitudes towards local public transport.

The study collected opinions from respondents in Berlin, Dubai, Copenhagen, London, Milan, Paris, San Francisco, Singapore, Sydney, Toronto, Warsaw and Washington DC.

According to a new global study commissioned by Hitachi Rail, Berliners are among the people who use public transport most often
According to a new global study commissioned by Hitachi Rail, Berliners are among the people who use public transport most often

The results revealed that although Berliners are among the most frequent users of local public transport worldwide, residents in Berlin are demanding a better-connected network. Indeed, 68% of people in the city use public transport, but only 50% of those surveyed consider it to be convenient. This resulted in Berlin performing poorly among all 12 cities surveyed.

In response to this need, the study provides insights into how Berlin could further increase its proportion of public transport users. For example, of all the cities included in the study, respondents in Berlin expressed the most need for precise, real-time information about connections and multi-modal options.

In addition, four out of five respondents (80%) stated that they would use public transport more often if they could avoid busy services, and two-thirds (66%) would be more likely to use a service if they could see in advance how busy it was.

The data also revealed that more people (85%) would switch to public transport if buses and trains ran more frequently.

Prof. Dr. Lukas Iffländer, Deputy Federal Chairman, passenger association PRO BAHN e. V., said:

We passengers want enough space in public transport and reliable real-time data in Berlin and all German cities. The majority of the population has recognised that better infrastructure is needed for this. In addition to sufficient improvements on the railways, additional bus lanes are immediately needed, which, together with traffic light priority switching geared towards public transport, enable a denser and more reliable service without additional expenditure on vehicles and a rapid expansion of the (especially western) tram network.

In addition, unfilled bus driver positions in Berlin and the surrounding area are causing dissatisfaction due to timetable thinning.

Of those interviewed, 33% are expected to take the train more often in the next five years, while only one in seven (14%) want to use the car more often.

Overall, 63% of Berliners would use public transport more if they were better connected.

What’s more, when asked about financing priorities, three-quarters (72%) of residents said the capital should prioritise investments in local public transport over expanding roads.

Emmanuel Mariani, Head of Markets Development for Germany, Hitachi Rail, said:

We know that environmentally friendly, sustainable public transport is more important than ever if we want to reduce CO2 emissions and reduce congestion and air pollution. The good news is that our study shows that people in many large cities like Berlin want to take the train more in the future.

Hitachi Rail’s full report can be found here.


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