Population of Latvia on average walk 2.7 kilometres daily
In 2017, 79% of Latvia population aged 15–84 had at least one trip outside home per day. On average one person travelled 30 km daily spending on average 80 min. Results of the Mobility Survey of Latvia Population conducted by the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia (CSB) show that work was the most common travel purpose (34%), followed by shopping (24 %) and leisure (20 %).
Trip-makers and no-trip makers in Latvia
Trip-makers are those respondents who declared at least one trip on the reference day. In 2017, the share of trip-makers in Latvia constituted 79 %. In addition, the share of people leaving home on working days was higher than that going out on weekends and holidays (83 % and 69 %), respectively.
On the reference day, 19 % of population did not go out. Out of the non-trip makers, 26 % did not leave home because were ill or feeling unwell, 25 % did not have need to go out, 21 % had a day off from work or school, 18 % stayed at home because of disability or old age, while 10 % mentioned that did not go out because of the bad weather.
Out of all trip-makers, 2 % had an international trip on the reference day.
Number of trips made by Latvia population per day
One inhabitant of Latvia on average made 2.7 trips per day; the number was higher on working days (2.8) and smaller on weekends and holidays (2.3).
The greatest number of trips were made to escort other persons (mainly children to school or pre-school education institution) – 2.5, followed by shopping – 2, and commuting to work – 1.9.
In respect to the mode of transport used, the highest number of trips were made by passenger car (drivers had 2.7 trips and passengers 2.6) as well as by cycling (2.4).
Comparison of the fuel used in passenger car, it may be concluded that the greatest number of trips were made by vehicles powered by liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) – 2.8, which may be explained by the low market price of this fuel.
Travel distance and time
On average daily, population tends to spend the longest time on train (79 min), travelling on average 47 km per day.
The distance travelled in Functional Urban Areas (FUA)1 was 10 km shorter than the average in Latvia (20 km).
Vehicles equipped with diesel engines travelled the longest distances per day (47 km).
The longest distances and the longest time were spent on professional/ business trips within Latvia. Leisure took the same amount of time, however twice shorter distances were travelled, as very often such trips include long walks. Shopping mainly was made by walking, and as shops or shopping areas often are located close to home the average trip distance travelled because of this purpose is the shortest (11 km).
Passenger car occupancy in Latvia
The average number of people in a car during one trip in Latvia constituted 1.9 persons; in FUA the indicator was lower – 1.6. Car occupancy differs notably between working days (1.7) and weekends, holidays.
Purposes of using passenger car, taxi and motorcycle
Almost half of all trips (47 %) in Latvia were made by a conventionally-fuelled passenger car, taxi and motorcycle. The European Commission White Paper – Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area – sets out an aim to gradually move towards no more conventionally-fuelled cars in cities.
The surveyed people mentioned that use passenger car because of personal comfort (39 %) or to save time, while 14 % mentioned that stops of the public transport are not suitable or the time schedule of the public transport in the necessary route is not suitable.
Passenger kilometres2 of Latvia population in 2017
In 2017, Latvia population aged 15–84 travelled 12 billion passenger kilometres, which is 8 080 passenger kilometres per capita (for comparison, taking into account the daily mobility of population, it is almost the same distance as that travelled Paris and back).
Out of all passenger kilometres, 10.7 billion or 84 % were travelled by passenger car, while 3 % by walking.
Sustainable mobility in Latvia
Sustainable mobility covers walking, cycling and using of public transport, electric or diesel-/ petrol-electric vehicle, as well as using of multimodal transport.
In 2017, 2 billion passenger kilometres or 16 % of all passenger kilometres were travelled by using sustainable mode of transport.
The survey was conducted during the period from September to December 2017 and covered 11 000 inhabitants of Latvia aged 15–84 selected with the help of random sampling method. The response rate in the survey accounted for 61.2 %. In Latvia, such survey was conducted for the first time and it was done in compliance with the Eurostat recommendations on passenger mobility statistics.
The survey was co-funded by the EU grant project Passenger Mobility and Road Transport Statistics.
1In Latvia, Functional Urban Areas cover cities of Riga, Jelgava, Daugavpils and Liepāja with the commuting zones (neighbouring municipalities) thereof. Trips with both starting and destination points located in the mentioned areas as well as trips shorter than 100 km are classified as urban trips.
2Passenger kilometres are calculated by multiplying the number of passengers by the trip distance in kilometres.