Västra Götaland, in western Sweden, has around 1.6 million inhabitants, distributed among 49 municipalities. In this county stretching 250 km from north to south, on the nearly thousand bus, train, boat and tram lines, public transport makes the equivalent of a trip of about ten times around the world every day – in the countryside, built-up areas and towns of Västra Götaland. In recent years, the number of journeys made by public transport has increased considerably – and everything indicates that the use of public transport will continue to increase substantially.
Public transport improves the opportunities to have a good life for the inhabitants of Västra Götaland. If passengers feel that they can travel quickly, simply and at a reasonable price, and so choose not to travel by car, this can have a positive effect on growth, climate change, the urban environment and much more. The proportion of the motorized journeys made in Västra Götaland by public transport is increasing and it will continue to increase. The number of journeys made by public transport is to double, which is both a national target and a target for public transport in Västra Götaland. For our county, this would entail the number of public transport journeys made in the county in the year 2025 being about 400 million annually. How public transport is to develop in Västra Götaland is given in a so-called “transport provision programme”.
Public transport is paid for, in part, by tax revenues via Region Västra Götaland, and in part by ticket revenues. The revenue from taxation amounts to over three billion SEK, and about the same amount comes from ticket revenues (2013).
Open market access
In addition to the public transport that is funded by taxpayers, it has been possible since 2012 for other actors than Västtrafik, the transport company of Region Västra Götaland, to operate public transport in the county. A transport company can now register itself and start a line of its own, for example, from a residential area to a large workplace.
Region Västra Götaland – the public transport authority in Västra Götaland
Since January 2012, Region Västra Götaland has been the public transport authority in Västra Götaland. As a result, the citizens of Västra Götaland participate in deciding how public transport is to develop in the long term, every time they vote in regional elections.
As a public transport authority, Region Västra Götaland decides the principles behind how public transport is to be extended and where investments are to be made in order to have the greatest possible impact. The aim is for public transport to contribute to achieving Västra Götaland’s vision of "the good life".
The politicians and civil servants of Region Västra Götaland are working closely with the municipalities and other actors to develop public transport.
Västtrafik – a part of Region Västra Götaland
Västtrafik is the county transport company in Västra Götaland, and puts into practice the overall visions, aims and strategies for public transport of Region Västra Götaland.
It is Västtrafik that gets public transport to work, and focus is given firstly to the passengers. By creating the best possible travelling experience for passengers, public transport can continue to grow and develop.
Västtrafik does not transport passengers itself, but rather purchases this service from, among others, bus companies that submit offers in which they compete regarding price, quality and the like.