Public transport

Updated: 20 December 2023

Next update: 19 March 2024

Change in public tranport passengers
Change in public tranport passengers
2021 - 2022
Skriv inn engelsk tittel
Skriv inn engelsk tittel
20223rd quarter 2023Change in percentage
2021 - 20223rd quarter 2022 - 3rd quarter 2023
Passengers (1 000 passengers)
All modes of transportation626 181162 87932.88.9
Bus (Scheduled road transport)386 95198 61725.99.4
Boat10 2403 28032.5-1.3
Tram and suburban railway162 29442 54941.27.5
Railway66 69518 43361.111.8
Ticket revenues (NOK 1 000)
All modes of transportation13 614 0763 992 82157.29.4
Bus (Scheduled road transport)5 269 5091 631 32350.85.1
Boat561 794200 08238.84.7
Tram and suburban railway1 841 388395 37258.6-12.6
Railway5 941 3851 766 04465.121.6
Figures for year 2021 were revised on 31 August 2023.
Explanation of symbols

Selected tables and charts from this statistics

  • Key figures, public-founded routes
    Key figures, public-founded routes
    Utilization of capacity (per cent)313134202122
    Speed (km per hour)272627282727
    Ticket revenues per fare (NOK)11.8512.2311.7710.209.8911.49
    Ticket revenues per passenger kms (NOK per km)1.291.311.
    Length of fare (km)999997
    Ticket revenues per vehicle kms (NOK per km)13.6714.3714.808.668.7712.62
    Subsidies per passenger (NOK per fare)16.9517.0917.3831.4131.9825.52
    Subsidies per vehichle-kms (NOK per km)19.5520.0721.8526.6728.3528.05
    Figures for year 2021 were revised on 31 August 2023.
    Explanation of symbols
  • Key figures, boat
    Key figures, boat
    Utilization of capacity (per cent)272525171925
    Speed (km per hour)252525242424
    Ticket revenues per fare (NOK)51.4952.6952.5851.0452.3854.86
    Ticket revenues per passenger kms (NOK per km)
    Length of fare (km)242423212425
    Ticket revenues per boat kms (NOK per km)93.4094.1691.5866.6370.6394.65
    Subsidies per passenger (NOK per fare)110.34109.82116.98165.74177.51138.40
    Subsidies per boat kms (NOK per km)200.13196.25203.72216.34239.35238.77
    Figures for year 2021 were revised on 31 August 2023.
    Explanation of symbols

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.

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)

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

Name: Public transport
Topic: Transport and tourism

19 March 2024

Division for Energy, Environmental and Transport Statistics

Regions, counties and urban areas.

Oslo and Viken are merged into one county of public transport administration.

As a result of the merging of municipialities in 2020, several time series were joined together. The following former municipialities were included in defining urban areas in 2020: Røyken, Hurum, Fet, Sørum, Svelvik, Finnøy, Forsand, Fusa, Ørskog, Skodje, Haram and Sandøy.

Urban areas

Nedre Glommen – Sarpsborg and Fredrikstad

Oslo – Oslo, Asker, Bærum, Nittedal, Nordre Follo, Lørenskog and Lillestrøm

Drammen – Drammen and Lier

Tønsberg – Tønsberg and Nøtterøy

Grenland – Porsgrunn, Skien, Siljan and Bamble

Arendal – Arendal and Grimstad

Kristiansand – Kristiansand and Vennesla

Stavanger – Stavanger, Sandnes, Sola and Randaberg

Haugesund – Haugesund and Karmøy

Bergen – Bergen, Askøy, Bjørnafjorden and Øygarden

Ålesund – Ålesund, Sula and Giske

Trondheim – Trondheim and Malvik

Bodø – Bodø

Tromsø – Tromsø


Northern Norway - Nordland, Troms and Finnmark

Central Norway - Trøndelag, Møre og Romsdal

Western Norway - Rogaland og Vestland

Southern Norway - Agder

Eastern Norway - Oslo, Viken, Innlandet, Vestfold og Telemark

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.

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

Collected and revised data are stored securely by Statistics Norway in compliance with applicable legislation on data processing.

Statistics Norway can grant access to the source data (de-identified or anonymised microdata) on which the statistics are based, for researchers and public authorities for the purposes of preparing statistical results and analyses. Access can be granted upon application and subject to conditions. Refer to the details about this at Access to data from Statistics Norway.

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.

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.

No external users have access to statistics before they are released at 8 a.m. on after at least three months’ advance notice in the release calendar. This is one of the most important principles in Statistics Norway for ensuring the equal treatment of users.

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.

The statistics are developed, produced and disseminated pursuant to Act no. 32 of 21 June 2019 relating to official statistics and Statistics Norway (the Statistics Act).

Not relevant

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.

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

Full count.

Collection of data

All information is reported online via the reporting channel Altinn. Groups/parent companies/head offices may report for branches upon agreement with Statistics Norway.


Editing is defined here as checking, examining and amending data.

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.

Not relevant

Employees of Statistics Norway have a duty of confidentiality.

Statistics Norway does not publish figures if there is a risk of the respondent’s contribution being identified. This means that, as a general rule, figures are not published if fewer than three units form the basis of a cell in a table or if the contribution of one or two respondents constitutes a very large part of the cell total.

Statistics Norway can make exceptions to the general rule if deemed necessary to meet the requirements of the EEA agreement, if the respondent is a public authority, if the respondent has consented to this, or when the information disclosed is openly accessible to the public.

More information can be found on Statistics Norway’s website under Methods in official statistics, in the ‘Confidentiality’ section.

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.

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.

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.

A revision is a planned change to figures that have already been published, for example when releasing final figures as a follow-up to published preliminary figures. See also Statistics Norway’s principles for revisions.

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

For the annual statistics, also smaller changes are qouted.