Trends in regional and population development indicate the direction for the future of bus transport

The level of differentiation between regions is accelerating. As the population grows older and becomes more centralised, interregional competition for scarce resources intensifies. In addition, migration from central cities to neighbouring municipalities has increased significantly during the pandemic. How will these and other regional and demographic trends affect the organisation and operation of bus and passenger transport in the future?

MDI examined the demographics of the competent authority areas for the Bus Association and the development of potential customer groups in the 2010s and in the future during the period 2020-2040. The analysis was divided into three sections: the general picture of population development, an analysis of realised development and an analysis of future developments.

The general picture of population development described the most important demographic trends and changes at the countrywide level. With regard to the achieved development, the development of the population, employment, sociodemographic trends and the number of students and school children in the competent authorities were analysed. Future developments were analysed based on MDI’s own population forecast scenarios, as well as on estimates made on this basis; the aim was to describe the future development of potential client groups.

Factors increasingly affecting public transport in the future include polarised demographic and workplace developments, as well as a decline in the number of under-15s and an increase in the number of people over the age of 75. The exceptional times themselves have brought their own impact to bear on a number of areas of activity and increased multi-location and remote work have also had an impact on regional and demographic development changing the ways in which people move around.