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The Hitachi Rail report seeks to analyse prevailing attitudes and consumer demand for public transport services, based on the responses of 12,000 people across twelve major global cities.

The report aims to shed light on what motivates global travel decisions, providing policymakers, operators and the wider transport industry with the salient insights and key data needed to effectively implement green transport infrastructure.

About Hitachi Rail

Hitachi Rail is a global provider of rail solutions: from manufacturing the iconic ‘bullet train’ and its best-in-class signalling systems, to its operation, service & maintenance and turnkey solutions.

Transport is changing and Hitachi Rail is working to digitise and fully integrate the entire transport system, creating seamless, sustainable mobility in a carbon neutral world.

Key takeaways

The report provides a clear view of the motivators and barriers to public transport usage globally. Read the full report for more insights and a national breakdown.

8 out of 10 people worldwide
would use public transport more often if it offered the shortest journey time.

7 out of 10 people worldwide
would be encouraged to use public transport if it were cheaper and more reliable.

73% of people worldwide
would be tempted to switch to public transport for shorter journey times,

60% if it were more reliable


63% if it were cheaper.

74% of people worldwide
would be more likely to use public transport if they could look ahead for live service updates (rising to as much as 85% in Paris).

of people worldwide
now use digital services, such as transport planning apps, to plan and book their travel Mobile apps. This percentage rises to 69% among the 18-24 age group.

As demand for public transport increases…

35% of people plan to use public transportation more over the next five years,
compared to projected use of car (17%) and air (6%) travel.

…the pursuit for convenience continues.

Almost half of people surveyed would pay more for added convenience, citing journey times, frequency of services and ease of accessibility as key factors.

78% of people identify overcrowding as the single most off-putting factor to travelling by public transport at peak times.

The same can be said for inter-city travel.

Though 62% of people worldwide choose
flying or driving between cities,

63% would opt to switch to
train use if services were an hour quicker

and 75% would switch to
trains if they were cheaper.

What do passengers really want?

Avoid travelling pressed like Sardines!”


Clean, not too crowded, on time.”


Reliable, safe and less crowded services.”


Comfort, not crowded, and accurate information about my journey.”


Punctuality, cleanliness, comfortable seats. Possibility to look out the window.”


Comfort, not crowded, and accurate information about my journey.”


Good temperature, good seats and feeling safe.”

San Fransisco

Arrives on time, is clean and neat and the driver is friendly and helpful.”


The future is

‘Better Connected’

72% of people claim a ‘better connected’* system would incentivise them to travel by public transport more often.

*A ‘Better Connected’ system would provide easier connections, between transport types, more frequent and faster journeys, clearer information about services with viable alternative routes to cars and reductions in overcrowding and delays.

If you build it, they will come

Japan, Italy and the UK are notable case studies marking a paradigm shift away from cars and planes to high-speed rail services.

Italy has seen a 517% increase in high-speed rail journeys, rising from 6.5 million to 40 million per year.

75% of journeys from Rome-Milan are now done by train.

Case studies

Cityringen metro in Copenhagen


  • Hitachi Rail’s CBTC (Communication-Based Train Control) technology
  • 24/7 connection services
  • Automated train operations
  • Maximum Speed: 100 km/h
Zoom Zoom Zoom Zoom Zoom

More sustainable

More cost-effective

More frequent services

Improved reliability

Shorter waiting times

San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART)


  • Hitachi Rail’s CBTC (Communication-Based Train Control) technology
  • 24/7 connection services
  • Replacement of 48-year-old train control system
Zoom Zoom Zoom Zoom

Tighter schedules

Increase in passenger capacity


Enabling 30,000 Transbay passengers to travel per hour at peak times

Key stats

Top 5 barriers to using public transport in 2023

*% of respondents who cited this barrier

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Singapore Warsaw Milan London Overall (48% in 2022) 49%* 53% 53% 58% 66% Overcrowding at peak travel times 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Singapore Dubai Toronto Warsaw Overall (30% in 2022) 32%* 36% 37% 38% 42% Length of journey 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Copenhagen London Milan Sydney Overall (29% in 2022) 32%* 33% 36% 42% 55% Cost 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 San Francisco Copenhagen Washington Berlin Overall (31% in 2022) 30%* 38% 45% 45% 46% More convenient to drive 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Berlin Paris Milan Sydney Overall (31% in 2022) 30%* 35% 37% 42% 46% Unreliable departure and arrival times

Is public transport convenient?

Is public transport convenient in your city?

Post-covid revivals
(2022 > 2023)