Passenger transport

The "Passenger transport" fact sheet examines the modal split of this type of transport in Portugal and in the European Union.


The transport sector is one of the main sources of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and is also responsible for high levels of air and noise pollution, which can seriously damage human health and ecosystems.

When we consider the environmental impact of passenger transport, the modal split becomes particularly significant due to the differences in environmental performance, such as resource consumption, GHG and pollutant emissions and noise, between the various transport modes.

In Portugal, transports represent a major proportion of the final energy consumption, and road transport is responsible for almost all that consumption. It is also noted that land transport is mainly responsible for the consumption of petroleum-based fuels for energy purposes, thus contributing decisively to the country's external energy dependence. As a result of the type of energy mix used, this sector is also responsible for 22% of the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, in 2015, exerting strong pressure on the environment.

The transfer from individual transport to public transport is one of the long-term objectives of the Strategic Plan for Transport and Infrastructures which recognizes the modal imbalance in passenger transport, with a strong prevalence of individual transport, and calls for an offer of public passenger transport services at the local, regional and national level with quality and adequate levels of service provision to meet the needs of the populations and promote a higher adoption of public transport.

This fact sheet concerns mainland Portugal and the Autonomous Regions of Madeira and Azores and shall be updated on an annual basis.

Objectives and targets: 
  • The 2014-2020 Strategic Plan for Transport and Infrastructures sets a number of targets, most notably the 15% increase in the number of passengers x kilometre (pkm) transported in public transit services, by 2020.
  • The Green Growth Commitment identifies the "Mobility and Transport" sector as one of the ten areas of intervention for a green transition in Portugal and sets 14 objectives quantified for 2020 and 2030, among which an increase in the use of public transit, in order to achieve 12.528 billion pkm transported in public transit services by 2020 and 15.296 billion by 2030.
Progress analysis:
Last update: 
Thursday, 31 January, 2019