Transport and tourism;Transport and tourism
kolltrans, Public transport, bus, boat, railway, train, tram, underground, passengers, passenger kilometres, vehicle kilometres, distance covered, train kilometres, ticket revenuesSea transport , Land transport , Transport and tourism

Public transport


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Key figures

54.8 %

fewer public transport passengers than the same quarter last year

Passengers and ticket revenues, mode of transportation
2nd quarter 2020Change in per cent
2nd quarter 2019 - 2nd quarter 20202nd quarter 2015 - 2nd quarter 2020
Passengers (1 000 passengers)
All modes of transportation75 125-54.8-46.8
Bus (Scheduled road transport)46 321-52.4-42.7
Boat1 549-51.6-40.6
Tram and suburban railway20 261-55.1-47.9
Railway6 994-66.0-63.2
Ticket revenues (NOK 1 000)
All modes of transportation1 384 291-64.5-55.3
Bus (Scheduled road transport)511 395-68.2-60.2
Boat68 839-60.2-50.7
Tram and suburban railway182 941-58.8-51.7
Railway621 116-62.9-52.0

About the statistics

Public transport includes all scheduled passenger transport by bus, on rails and by passenger boat. Air travel, taxis, ferries and Hurtigruten are excluded. The time series in tables are recalculated regularly and are changed when new information becomes available.



Definitions of the main concepts and variables

Train kilometre

Distance in kilometres for trains and trams that are made up of more than one linked carriage.

Vehicle kilometre

Total distance in kilometres (i.e. including positioning run and other out of route journeys). 

Passenger kilometre

Passenger kilometre is an inter modal transport statistic. It is found by mutliplying the number of passengers by their travelled distance.

Place kilometre

Total seating capacity and standing room multiplied by distance in route (i.e. excluding positioning runs and other out of route journeys).

Seat kilometer

A measure of of capacity in passenger transport. Found by multiplying the number of seats by the distance that these seats are beeing offered to passengers.

Vehicle hours

Total vehicle hours (including control times, positioning runs and other out of route journeys).

Ticket revenue

The traffic establishments’ revenues from public transport users’ purchase of travel tickets.

Fare (passenger)

One boarding, i.e. part journey.

Total expenditure

All ordinary costs related to running public transport, i.e. the sum of administration costs, operating costs and capital expenditure.


The authorities’ net subsidy for transport services, i.e. the total service subsidy (including remuneration for school bus services) where the operators run on net contracts and retain ticket revenues. Where the operators run on gross contracts, the authorities’ subsidy shall correspond to the sum of the contract minus the ticket revenues.

Utilisation of capacity

Passenger kilometres as a percentage of seat kilometres.

Cost absorption

Ticket revenues as a percentage of total costs. (out from 2015)

Standard classifications

Statistics Norway’s current Standard Industrial Classification 2007 (SIC2007) is based on the EU’s NACE standard.

Administrative information

Name and topic

Name: Public transport
Topic: Transport and tourism

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Responsible division

Division for Energy, Environmental and Transport Statistics

Regional level

County and urban areas.

Akershus and Oslo are merged to one "county".

The urban areas are defined as:

Nedre Glommen - Sarpsborg/Fredrikstad
Oslo - Oslo/Asker/Bærum/Nittedal/Oppegård/Lørenskog/Skedsmo/Ski
Drammen - Drammen/Nedre Eiker/Lier
Tønsberg - Tønsberg/Nøtterøy
Grenland - Porsgrunn/Skien/Siljan/Bamble
Arendal - Arendal/Grimstad
Kristiansand - Kristiansand/Vennesla/Songdalen/Søgne
Stavanger - Stavanger/Sandnes/Sola/Randaberg/Rennesøy (Rennesøy included from 2015)
Haugesund - Haugesund/Karmøy (new from 2015)
Bergen - Bergen/Askøy/Fjell/Os
Ålesund - Ålesund/Sula/Giske (Ålesund/Skodje to 2011)
Trondheim - Trondheim/Melhus/Malvik
Bodø - Bodø
Tromsø - Tromsø

Frequency and timeliness

Frequency: Quarterly and annually

Timeliness (under normal conditions):

Quarterly: Will normally be published within 3 months of the end of the quarter.

Annually: Will normally be published within 6 months of the end of the year.

International reporting

Some main figures are reported on voluntary bases to Eurostat and UNECE.


Micro data are stored in Oracle databases, and production data is stored as SAS files. Historical data are stored as ASCII files on UNIX.


Background and purpose

Statistics Norway's previous statistics on scheduled road transport were last published for the financial year 1997, while the Ministry of Transport and Communications' data capture based on the N-016 set of forms was concluded in 2000. This quickly led to an incomplete statistics base on public transport. The Ministry therefore took the initiative to establish new statistics on public transport, which would cover bus, boat, suburban railway, tram and railway.

The purpose of the statistics is to provide continuous, up-to-date, strategic key figures on public transport, which can be used by the transport industry itself, local and central authorities, as well as public transport planners at different levels. The statistics are financed by the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

Users and applications

The statistics are primarily used by public authorities and research institutes in connection with transport planning. Transport establishments and transport planners are also important user groups. Internally in Statistics Norway, the material is included in calculations of domestic transport capacity, and provides a good basis for analysing the competitive situation, amongst other things.

Equal treatment of users

No external users have access to the statistics and analyses before they are published and accessible simultaneously for all users on ssb.no at 08 am. Prior to this, a minimum of three months' advance notice is given in the Statistics Release Calendar. This is one of Statistics Norway’s key principles for ensuring that all users are treated equally.

Coherence with other statistics

The results for scheduled road transport are, for some variables, comparable to a certain extent with the previous Statistics on scheduled road transport, which were last published in 1997. The comparison is complicated by the fact that major structural changes have taken place in the industry in recent years.

Transport capacity figures are collected in KOSTRA for the part of the scheduled road transport in receipt of subsidies, the liners and rail system, but the new public transport statistics also cover transport that does not qualify for subsidies. In direct comparisons at both county and establishment level, substantial deviations were discovered for a number of pupil fares. KOSTRA often has higher figures in this connection. Registration of pupil fares is generally poor, whereby the figures are on the whole administrative estimates. The greatest deviations are investigated and there is every reason to believe that the KOSTRA figures are too high and public transport figures are too low. The transition to electronic ticketing revealed that the scope of fares using a pupil pass is considerably lower than previously assumed.

The structure survey provides some key financial figures for establishments and enterprises for the same industries that are covered by the public transport statistics. However, the cost and income concepts are rather different since the structure survey covers all revenues and costs of the establishments and enterprises, while the public transport statistics only cover revenues and costs linked to the running of the public transport service.

Legal authority

§ 2-1, 2-2, 2-3 of the Statistics Act.

EEA reference

Not applicable.



The population is all public transport establishments within the scheduled road transport industry (excluding those exclusively providing school services), the liner industry (excluding Hurtigruta and ferry routes), trams, the underground and railway in Norway. Tour buses, tour boats and other tourism businesses involved solely with experience, sightseeing and such are not regarded as public transport. 

All counties are included from reporting year 2015 and Q1 2016.

Data sources and sampling

Questionnaires completed by all establishments in the various industries. New questionnaries to county authority from 2016.

Full count.

Collection of data, editing and estimations

Questionnaires are sent with a reply envelope on a quarterly and annual basis. The questionnaires are also available on the Internet (IDUN). Groups/parent companies/head offices may report for branches upon agreement with Statistics Norway.

Statistical and logical controls form part of the data registration routine for checking registration errors or other data errors. Establishments are contacted in the event of a lack of information or other significant errors. Certain types of incomplete responses are estimated by using the data from other responses for the same variable.

The survey is based on a full count of the relevant enterprises. Partial withdrawals may occur, and values for certain variables can be estimated by Statistics Norway based on previous answers, or by using information on correlations between other answers in the questionnaire. The data are not seasonally adjusted.

From 2016 all questionnaires are moved to Altinn.

Seasonal adjustment

No seasonally adjustment.


The principal rule of the Statistics Act is that Information shall under no circumstances be published in such a way that it may be traced back to the supplier of any data or to any other identifiable individual. Figures broken down by urban area for bus are therefore previously not published. Late 2007 publishing of non-economical figures from counties was authorised.

Considerations to confidentiality mean that financial figures cannot be published, with the exception of total ticket revenues for rail services.

Comparability over time and space

The public transport survey was first published on 31 October 2006, with annual data from 2004 and quarterly data for the first quarter of 2005 to the first quarter of 2006 in November 2006.

NSB uses a new method for calculating passenger numbers. Figures are included from the 1st quarter of 2012 in the new method, which means there is a slight break in the statistics from 2011 to 2012

Accuracy and reliability

Sources of error and uncertainty

Questionnaires are reviewed thoroughly, and unclear wording of questions and other obscurities are resolved during this process. However, it is possible for establishments to misunderstand one or more questions. Misinterpretations and misunderstandings in relation to the questions on school bus services and line kilometres have resulted in this data being incomplete.

Non-response units in the public transport survey will be either establishments we have not had contact with due to addressee errors etc. but who are not registered as exempt, or establishments that refuse to answer and are given a compulsory fine.

Non-response of units is approximately 2 per cent. All major units are included. Non-response of units leads to skewed results.

The Central Register of Establishments and Enterprises is used both to define the population and to retrieve information such as industry codes. This can form the basis for register errors that can affect the uncertainty in the statistics. The most common errors are those that result from time lags in the registrations. Such lags can be due to delayed reporting to the registers or the fact that changes are normally registered some time after they have occurred. The consequence is that the registers are not entirely up-to-date at any given time, which can lead to out-of-date information being used in the statistics.

Passenger kilometres is a key unit of measurement in all transport statistics. As a rule, the data must be estimated by the establishments, and are often based on averages. This figures are the statistics least reliable.

The distinction between &“city and densely populated area´´ and &“other intra-county traffic´´ has a different interpretation in the bus industry. Traffic in local centres in rural Norway is normally reported under city and densely populated area, while there is a tendency in areas close to cities for everything to be regarded as other intra-county traffic.

Separating passenger figures and ticket revenues, by type of ticket, has proved to be difficult &– particularly in densely populated areas with a number of different tick types. In the Oslo area, for instance, the same ticket can be used on boats, buses, trams and the underground.


Quarterly figures are recalculates for the last 2 years. Large changes are qouted.

For the annual statistics, also smaller changes are qouted.