Public transport is ubiquitous with European cities but is all that good?, Source: Andrea Ferrario / Unsplash

Which countries have the best public transport in Europe?

Which countries have the best public transport in Europe?

The 'Germany Ticket' has made a splash and some organisations are pushing for similar policies across the EU

Last week, Greenpeace released a report which ranked 30 European countries and their capitals based on the quality offer of their public transport. The countries included the EU 27 plus Norway, Switzerland and the UK.

The report found out that Luxembourg held the top spot as a country with 100 points out of 100, while Bulgaria held the last place with zero. When looking at the capitals, the 1st place was a tie between Luxembourg City, Valetta (Malta) and Tallinn (Estonia), while surprisingly Dublin held the last place.

The Deutschland ticket is pushing for change on an EU level

According to a statement by Greenpeace, the introduction of the Germany ticket on 1 May this year has had an enormous effect on the wider context of public transport, as well as its possibilities.

The ticket offers passengers a unified and discounted monthly pass covering all public bus and rail transport in Germany, including inner and intercity travel, for the low price of 49 euros.

Hungary launched a similar policy on the same day (1 May), while Austria tried an offer back in 2021.  Malta and Luxembourg, meanwhile, have opted for making national public transport completely free, foregoing tickets altogether.

Taxing air travel to pay for public transport

With the ranking, Greenpeace wants to advance a concept for creating a so-called European ticket – modelled after the German version but valid for the whole Bloc.

To pay for the initiative, the organisation proposes the EU ends tax exemptions for international flights, which use polluting kerosene and improve ticketing options and public transport attractiveness.

Many countries have overpriced transport tickets and six countries (Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, Estonia and Croatia) tax tickets as much as luxury goods using the standard VAT rate.

The ranking

There were several criteria going into creating countries’ and capitals’ rankings, including – the existence of a single ticket for all public transportation, discounts for socially disadvantaged people (a reduction of at least 25%), the VAT rate and pricing.

In terms of price, in order to get full points, countries need to have one long-term ticket, granting access to all kinds of public transport, which costs 1 euro per day. In cities ranking, that price needs to be 0.50 cents.

Top 10 countries:

1.       Luxembourg (100 points),

2.       Malta (88 points),

3.       Austria (81 points),

4.       Germany (69 points),

5.       Cyprus (63 points),

6.       Spain (62 points),

7.       Switzerland (58 points),

8.       Hungary (54 points),

9.       Netherlands (46 points),

10.     Estonia (45 points).

Top 10 cities:

1.       Tallinn (100 points), Luxembourg (100 points) and Valletta (100 points),

4.       Prague (98 points),

5.       Bratislava (91 points),

6.       Madrid (89.3points),

7.       Rome (88.6 points),

8.       Vienna (88.57 points),

9.       Athens (88.54 points),

10.     Sofia (84.3 points).



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