UTK: Railways in Poland to have 374.4 million passengers in 2023, up 9.4% y/y

by   CIJ News iDesk III
2024-01-31   13:18

Railways in Poland handled 374.4 million passengers last year, an increase of 9.4% year-on-year, the Office of Rail Transport (UTK) reported. This is the highest result since 1999, when it was 395.2 million passengers.

Polregio (97.3 million), PKP Intercity (68 million) and Koleje Mazowieckie (61.5 million) had the most passengers. The highest y/y passenger growth was recorded by Koleje Małopolskie (+33.2%), Koleje Dolnośląskie (+19.8%) and Koleje Wielkopolskie (+18.3%).

"Such good results in recent years are a signal that rail passenger transport is getting back on track. Growing awareness of the need to use environmentally friendly modes of transport, rising fuel costs and favourable offers from carriers - these certainly make train travel more profitable than commuting by car, for example. At the same time, the potential for greater use of the railways is still considerable. Therefore, there is a need to further increase the range and quality of rail services. The development of the railways should also be seen in the context of areas that cannot currently be reached by train," UTK President Ignacy Góra commented.

In 2023, almost 26% of the total number of rail passengers was served by Polregio, whose trains carried almost 97.3 million people. This carrier's market share in terms of passengers carried increased by 0.51 percentage points compared to 2022. The second largest market share (18.2 per cent) was generated by PKP Intercity, which handled almost 68 million passengers. For this carrier, this is an increase in passenger shares of 0.92 percentage points year-on-year. This carrier was ranked second in terms of market share in 2023 for the first time in the history of data collection by UTK, the report highlighted.

The year 2023 for Koleje Mazowieckie represents a decrease in market share of 0.84 percentage points compared to 2022. The carrier's trains carried more than 61.51 million people, giving it a market share of 16.4 per cent and third place by number of passengers.

Last year for the vast majority of carriers meant more passengers than in 2022. The highest y/y passenger growth was recorded by Koleje Małopolskie (+33.2%), followed by Koleje Dolnośląskie (+19.8%) and Koleje Wielkopolskie (+18.3%), which carried almost 9.4 million, 19.2 million and 16.9 million passengers respectively. On a year-on-year basis, fewer passengers used SKM Warsaw (-14.6%) and WKD (-3.9%) services - 15.2 million and 6.4 million passengers respectively in 2023. These results are also weaker compared to pre-pandemic 2019. (by 31.2% and 27.1% respectively).

"The impact on the decline in passenger numbers within Warsaw may be due to the spread of remote working and the ongoing modernisation works on the networks of the managers PKP PLK and WKD. In the case of the third company serving the Warsaw agglomeration, Koleje Mazowieckie, the dynamics of the decrease compared to 2019 were lower (-1%). In addition to the three aforementioned carriers from Mazovia, only LeoExpress still recorded a decrease in transport compared to the time before the pandemic," commented the Authority.

Passenger numbers were 11.5% higher in 2023 compared to the last year before the pandemic, 2019. In the case of the Łódź Agglomeration Railway, which carried almost 10.2 million passengers in 2023, this is an increase of 69.1% compared to 2019. There is also significant growth (comparing 2023 to 2019) for Małopolska Railway (+45%), PKP Intercity (+39.1%), Greater Poland Railway (+38.6%) and Lower Silesia Railway (+35.9%), it said.

"The year 2023 for the carriers Polregio, PKP Intercity, PKP SKM Tricity, Koleje Dolnośląskie, Koleje Małopolskie, Koleje Śląskie, Koleje Wielkopolskie and Łódzka Kolej Aglomeracyjna marks a record number of passengers transported using their services in recent years," also stated.

The work in service for the whole of 2023 amounted to almost 25.9 billion passenger-kilometres in Poland, an increase of 2.1 billion passenger-kilometres (+8.8%) over the year. In the case of operational work, which exceeded the value of 191.3 million train-kilometres, the increase was 5.2 million train-kilometres (2.8%). The average length of a rail passenger's journey in 2023 was 69.1 km, slightly less than in 2022 (by 0.4 km).

"The values for freight and operational work are record highs since the statistics were kept by the Office of Rail Transport (UTK)," it emphasised.

In the last month of 2023, almost 31.4 million passengers used rail services. Compared to a year earlier, this is a result higher by more than 2.3 million people (+8%). At the same time, this is the highest value achieved in this month since 2012.

Source: UTK and ISBnews