Passenger transport performance

Transport performance

In 2022, the land transport performance still remained below pre-pandemic level. In total, on the road, rail and cable car network 122.7 billion person-kilometres were travelled – 11% more than in 2021 but still 11% less than in 2019, the year before the COVID pandemic started.

Of the overall performance, in 2022 three quarters, i.e., 91.0 billion person-kilometres, were accounted for by private motorised transport (cars, motorcycles and private buses). This was nearly five times the number of person-kilometres accounted for by the railways (19.3 billion). Active mobility (on foot and by bicycle) accounted for 7.8 billion person-kilometres. 

Since 1970, the transport performance of motorised private transport and public transport has more than doubled.

Passenger transport performance
  Billion person-km (except aviation) Year Change from 2019 (before the pandemic), as % Change from 2000, as %
Total land transport performance 122.7
2022 –11 +20
Private motorised road transport





    of which passenger cars





Public road transport
(tramway, trolley bus, bus)
4.2 2022 –11 +23
Railways 19.3 2022 –11 +53
Cog railways and cable cars 0.4 2022 –9 +12
Active mobility
(on foot, by bike)
7.8 2022 +2 +20
Aviation (scheduled and charter flights)
53.3 million passengers1 2023 –9
1) Local and transfer passengers Sources: FSO – Passenger transport performance (PV-L), Public transport statistics (TP); FSO, FOCA – Aviation, scheduled and charter flights (AVIA_LC)

Change in passenger transport in relation to population

In the first "Covid year" of 2020, passenger transport saw an unprecedented decline. The decrease was particularly significant in air transport, but also in rail transport. In the two decades before the pandemic, the following main trends can be identified when comparing transport and population change.

  • In the years 2000 to 2010, rail transport grew significantly faster than the population. In that decade, major infrastructure expansions (especially the "Rail 2000" project) led to extended services with more frequent trains and shorter journey times. After 2010, rail transport performance increased at a somewhat slower pace.

  • Shortly after the turn of the millennium, passenger numbers in air transport initially fell, primarily as a result of the 2001 terrorist attacks in New York and the grounding of the Swissair airline. From around 2005 onwards, however, air transport increased considerably more than the population in most years, which was probably also due to the expansion of low-cost airlines.

  • The trend in private motorised road transport was somewhat less dynamic. However, between 2000 and 2019, this also increased slightly more than did the population. This was mainly due to greater transport performance by foreign passenger cars on Swiss territory. In contrast, the distances travelled per capita by the Swiss resident population remained more or less stable.

Kilometre performance

In 2022, private motorised transport realised a kilometre performance of 57.0 billion vehicle-kilometres. This corresponds to an increase of 6% compared to 2021 and a decrease of 8% compared to 2019, the year before the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. For railways the corresponding value in 2022 was 209 million train-kilometres (+2% compared to 2021 / +4% compared to 2019). In the passenger air transport segment, the use of means of transport is usually expressed in terms of the number of flight movements (take-offs and landings). In the scheduled and charter flight segment, 408 957 flight movements were registered in 2023 (+15% compared to 2022 / –13% compared to 2019).

Kilometre performance in passenger transport
  Billion vehicle-km or train-km (except aviation) Year Change from 2019 (before the pandemic), as % Change from 2000, as %
Private motorised road transport









    domestic vehicles





    foreign vehicles





Railway 0.2 2022 +4 +48
Aviation (scheduled and charter flights) 408 957 take-offs and landings
2023 –13   –24
Sources: FSO – Passenger transport performance (PV-L), Public transport statistics (TP); FSO, FOCA – Aviation, scheduled and charter flights (AVIA_LC)

Statistical concepts


Federal Statistical Office Section Mobility
Espace de l'Europe 10
CH-2010 Neuchâtel
+41 58 463 64 68

Monday - Friday:
09.00 - 12.00 / 14.00 - 16.30



Our English pages offer only a limited range of information on our statistical production. For our full range please consult our pages in French and German (top right hand screen).