Transport and tourism
kbuss, Cost index for passenger transport by bus, administrative costs, repair and maintenance costs, labour costs, capital costs, diesel fuel costs, gas fuel costsLand transport , Transport and tourism

Cost index for passenger transport by bus


Next update

Key figures

12.3 %

change in bus costs compared to the same period last year

Cost index for passenger transport by bus. Q1 2010=100
Index levelPercentage change
4th quarter 20173rd quarter 2017 - 4th quarter 20174th quarter 2016 - 4th quarter 2017
Total index
Cost index for passenger transport by bus136.60.012.3
Sub index
Labour costs131.50.23.6
Fuel costs114.0-0.46.1
Capital costs151.6-0.762.0
Repair and maintenance costs126.9-0.12.1
Administrative costs120.01.02.7

About the statistics

Cost index for passenger transport by bus describes the price trends for bus operating costs. The statistics are updated quarterly.


Definitions of the main concepts and variables

Definition of the most important concepts and variables:

Cost component: refers to the main cost elements (cost components) in the bus industry.

Cost group: is a higher grouping of cost components. Cost index for bus is divided into five cost groups (categories): labor costs (direct and indirect costs for all employees in the bus industry), fuel costs, capital costs, repair and maintenance costs, and administrative costs.

Base Price: refers to a price in a previous period that current prices are compared against.

Base year: also called index reference period, stands for the year the index is set to 100.

Laspeyres price index: an index calculation method where the base period weights are kept constant. SSB operates with a variant of the Laspeyres index designated as L-type index. This variation means that the base price moves (eg. Quarterly) while the weights are often held for more than one year.

Elementary Group: refers to the lowest grouping in index calculation hierarchy. An elementary index is a relative price change compared to a previous reference price (base price).

Jevons index: refers to the way we calculate / aggregate price relatives (price ratios) at the lowest level (elementary group) in index calculation. A Jevons index is a geometric mean of price ratios.

Weight: shows the cost ratio for a cost component, cost group or an industry in a given index. Weight ratio is used as a measure of the importance of a cost component and determines how much it should count in an index.

Standard classifications

The applicable standard classification is The Standard Industrial Classification (SN2007) in Statistics Norway, which inturn is based on the EU standard NACE Rev. 2

Administrative information

Name and topic

Name: Cost index for passenger transport by bus
Topic: Transport and tourism

Next release

Responsible division

Transport, tourism and ICT statistics

Regional level

National level only

Frequency and timeliness

The statistics is released around 80 days after the relevant quarter.

International reporting

Not relevant


Data are stored as text files in Linux


Background and purpose

The development process started in 2012 on commission from NHO Transport- The transport arm of the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprises. The purpose of the statistics is to describe the development in costs connected to running a bus passenger transport company. Five major cost groups are identified for the industry and quarterly cost indices for the five cost groups plus a total index for all the cost groups togather is produced regularly starting with the first quarter of 2010.

During the development process, a reference group composed of representatives from the industry itself and major utilizers of transport services was put in place in order to insure that all relevant aspects of the cost structure are taken account of.

Accounting figures collected by the Norwegian Tax Authority for all enterprises in the industry has been instrumental in understanding the industry’s cost structure. The distribution of weights between the different cost groups was made based on these accounting figures from 2010.

The index has first quarter of 2010 as a reference period (Q1 2010=100)

Users and applications

The statistics are used by businesses when signing and amending prices in passenger bus transport contracts. The indices are also used in price negotiations between providers and users of passenger transport by bus.




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 inthe Statistics Release Calendar.

Coherence with other statistics

The labor cost index is based on data from the quarterly wage statistics produced by Statistics Norway. The indices for fuel costs, administration costs and repair and maintenance costs are based on price indices obtained from the Consumer Price Index of Statistics Norway. Information on interest rates is obtained from the Central Bank of Norway.

Legal authority

Statistics Act §§2-1, 2-2 and 2-3.

EEA reference

Not relevant



The cost index for passenger bus transport comprises all enterprises within sub classes 49.311- Urban and suburban passenger land transport by bus and 49.392- Scheduled long-distance bus services in the standard industrial Classification for Norway (SN 2007). Airport shuttles are also included.

Enterprises offering charters, excursions and other occasional coach services are not included in this index

Data sources and sampling

The data source is mainly register based and most of the data is generated from statistics Norway’s own registers. A few supplementary data is also obtained from registers out side Statistics Norway, In addition, depreciation values for buses is collected directly from respondents via a quarterly questionnaire while spot gas prices are collected from five major European spot gas markets from the internet.

Apart from price observations, weights are also equally important in the estimation of an index. The source of weights for this index is accounting data collected by the Norwegian Tax Authority.

The data utilized in developing the cost index for passenger bus transport and their respective sources are listed as follows:

A.       External data sources

  1. Bus producers/ Suppliers  – Depreciation costs  are calculated based on bus prices
  2. Gas prices are collected from suppliers to the Norwegian market
  3. Interest rate, 10-year real interest rate bond (adjusted for inflation by the CPI-ATE) is collected from the Norwegian Central Bank

B.       Data from Statistic Norway’s registers

  1. NO-register – annual accounting data from enterprises is used in calculating the distribution of weights
  2. CPI
  • Diesel index
  • Repair and maintenance costs for buses
  • Repair maintenance of buildings
  • Insurance connected with dwelling
  • Post, telecommunication and print materials
  • House rent
  • Electricity including grid rent costs
  • CPI total index

      3.     KOSTRA –Municipal services

  • Water supply
  • Sewerage services
  • Waste removal services

      4.    SPPI – Service Producer Price Indices

  • Price index for Legal activities
  • Price index for accounting and auditing services
  • Price index Business consulting services
  • Labor cost index (AKI): Wage cost for both administrative workers and drivers is obtained from Statistics Norway’s Labor cost index.

      5.    Cost index for freight transport by road

  • Tire costs
  • Insurance of transport equipment (insurance of buses)

Based on the abovementioned sources, five cost groups are calculated. In addition, two separate groups for gas and diesel costs are also calculated.

Labor costs include agreed wages and social costs for both drivers and administrative employees  (including labor tax) for normal working hours for full-time and part-time employees. These estimates are based on labor cost data for enterprises in the industry group passenger transport by bus obtained  from the quarterly wage statistics supplied by the Division for Income and Wage Statistics at Statistics Norway.

The fuel index is the weighted sum of diesel and gas indices. Diesel index is based on the actual pump prices obtained from a selection of retailers located around Norway and it is compiled every month by the Division for Price Statistics at Statistics Norway for use in the Consumer Price Index. Gas Index is, on the other hand, based on spot prices for natural gas in four key spot markets for gas in Europe and LNG spot prices in southeast Europe. Ratio of the number of buses using one of the two fuel types are used as weight basis in the calculation of fuel index.

Repair and maintenance includes three cost components: Repair and maintenance of bus  (workshop costs, cleaning, etc.), Tire costs and insurance costs.

  • Repair and maintenance of bus is based on the price index for maintenance and repair of personal transport equipment which is compiled every month by the Division for Price Statistics at Statistics Norway for use in the Consumer Price Index. This index measures the overall growth in repair shop costs (parts and man-hour rates) at more than 60 auto repair shops all over Norway.
  • Tire costs are based on reported prices from the six major tire brand retailers in Norway.
  • Insurance costs are based on reports from the three insurers with the largest market share in the industry. Insurance costs derived from cost index for freight road transport.

Capital costs include depreciation costs and interest related costs. Prices for new buses obtained from four dominant bus suppliers, which together account for approximately 80% of the market share. The interest rate in use in this idex is a long term interest rate relating to 10-year government bonds and is obtained from Norges Bank. CPI adjusted for tax changes and excluding energy products (CPI-ATE) is used as a measure of inflation rate. The cost index for passenger transport by bus uses the following scheme to calculate interest related costs and depreciation costs:

When previous figures are small, changes are going to be large when measuring relative change. 

Administradtive costs include costs related to repair and maintenance of buildings, insurance (buildings), Sanitation, water and wastewater, accounting, auditing, consulting, office expenses, rental facilities, and light and heat. The various sub-indices are based on data that is collected by the Division for Price Statistics, KOSTRA and Division for Construction and Service Statistics in Statistics Norway.

Collection of data, editing and estimations

Questionnaire for collecting bus prices is distributed around the middle of the last month in the relevant quarter. Collected data is manually interred in the data editing application where it is treated with simple mathematical and logical controls.

The calculation of the indices is done in four steps:

  1. Elementary indices (price relatives) for representative goods/services are calculated first. these constitute the indices for the respective cost components under each cost group.
  2. The component indices are then weighted togather to teir respective cost groups to form the indices for the five cost groups, i.e. the sub-cost indices.
  3. In the end, the scb-cost indices for the five cost groups are weighted together to form the total cost index for bus.

 The index reference period is the first quarter of 2010 (Q1 2010=100). The source of weight for the five cost groups is obtained from accounting data supplemented by figures from selected companies in the industry.

Seasonal adjustment

Not relevant


The use of collected data will be in accordance with The Statistics Act.

Comparability over time and space

The cost index of bus has been compiled by Statistics Norway since the first quarter of 2010.

Statistics norway changed the methodology for calculating interest rate beginning from the 3rd quarter of 2013. consequently, data in statistics bank pertaining to the affected indices, i.e kapital index and total index is updated with new figures. The press releases for the 1st and 2nd quarters of 2013 however have the old figures.

Accuracy and reliability

Sources of error and uncertainty

Bus index is largely based on data from other registers in Statistics Norway. Any measurement and processing errors in these registers can be transferred in to the cost index for bus.

The data is edited by a set of simple manual and automated controls. Erronouse or incoherent data is detected using both micro (manual) and macro (statistical controlls) editing and corrected accordingsly.

Over time there will be a change in the cost structure of a bus company. In order to correctly weight the price changes, the weight ratio should at all times reflect the cost structure in the business. Satisfaction of this requirement for representativeness occurs when weights are revised periodically. For bus index, a revision of weights is planed every five years.


Not relevant