In 2021, Maltese citizens demonstrated the highest bus usage in the European Union, with 13.3% of total transport performance attributed to coaches, buses, and trolley buses, according to Eurostat.
Following closely were Hungary (12.8%) and Ireland (12.4%). Malta also had a relatively high car usage at 81.4%, surpassing the EU average of 79.7%. This figure is notably influenced by the limited availability of alternative mass transportation methods like trains and metros in Malta.
Cyprus, another EU nation lacking registered train usage, also exhibited above-average bus utilisation. On average, train usage across EU member states stood at 5.6%. Malta introduced free public bus rides for residents in October 2022. Eurostat’s data was based on passenger-kilometres, representing one passenger traveling one kilometre.
Regarding other modes of transport, Croatia led in air passenger-kilometres at 25.4%, followed by Bulgaria (16.3%) and Spain (13.1%). Austria retained the highest share (8.6%) of rail passenger-kilometres, trailed by France (8.3%) and the Netherlands (8%).
In sea transport, Croatia led with 2.7% of passenger-kilometres, followed by Greece (1.6%) and Estonia (1.5%). Despite shifts in transport patterns over the past decade, cars continued to dominate, accounting for 79.7% of passenger-kilometres in the EU in 2021.