An attractive and vibrant capital region


An attractive and vibrant capital region

The capital region is growing rapidly. The need for mobility and the pressure on both land use and the transport system are increasing. Population growth provides opportunities, but also places higher demands on coordinated and comprehensive planning.

A seamless mobility service, where efficient public transport is the most important cornerstone, is a necessary measure to achieve a sustainable and attractive capital region.

… there will be more than 500,000 new residents in Oslo and Akershus by 2060.Relatively speaking, Oslo is the fastest growing capital in Europe. More than 1.2 million people reside in Oslo and Akershus, and the population is expected to grow by about 20 per cent by 2030. This is nearly 250,000 new residents, a population growth almost equivalent to the population of Bergen. If we look further ahead, the estimates are more uncertain, but there are indications that there will be more than 500,000 new residents in Oslo and Akershus by 2060.

Oslo and Akershus are growing because the region has attractive jobs, varied leisure activities, good living conditions and good environments for children to grow up in. In order for us to have a vibrant, sustainable and competitive region in the future as well, we must continue the excellent planning work in the region and secure transport solutions and mobility services that support such a development. More residents and the creation of new jobs through inward investment will per se lead to more travel, but we can implement measures that will contribute to reducing individual transport demand and make it possible to travel in an environmentally friendly manner.

Ruter’s most important contribution to reducing emissions is to get more people to choose public transport.The transport sector accounts for about 60 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions in the capital region. Ruter’s most important contribution to reducing emissions is to get more people to travel by public transport instead of by car. Furthermore, Ruter’s ambition is that all public transport should run on renewable energy in 2020. In addition to reducing local and global emissions, the transition to renewable energy will provide greater energy efficiency and less noise.


The growth in demand for personal transport should be met by public transport, cycling and walking.

The point of departure for Ruter’s strategy is the national transport policy goal of zero growth in private car use in the ten largest urban areas. The question Ruter seeks to address in its strategy work is:

What is required for public transport, along with cycling and walking, to meet the growth in demand for personal transport in the region?

The goal is ambitious but looking back to 2007 shows that we in the capital region to a great extent has had such a development. In recent years, the passenger growth in public transport has been strong, and significantly higher than the population growth. In 2014, 319 million individual journeys were undertaken, an increase of ten million journeys compared to 2013.

Since Ruter was established in 2007, public transport has gained market shares from the car in both Oslo and Akershus. In Oslo, car traffic has levelled off. These are results that are being noticed, and that other urban regions want to learn from. Through a study commissioned by the international public transport association UITP, the results in Oslo and Akershus have been pointed to as a good example of how a predictable and omprehensive transport policy contributes to achieving a goal of zero growth in car traffic. UITP highlights Oslo’s densification as one of the drivers behind the market success, in addition to the creation of a regional public transport organisation and long term and predictable financing through the Oslo Package 3.

Ruter’s social accounts show the value of the comprehensive policies that have formed the basis for this development. By comparing the actual situation in 2012 with an imaginary development where private cars were responsible for the majority of the traffic growth from 2007 to 2012, the social accounts show that one Norwegian krone in public transport subsidy gave a return of four and a half Norwegian krone to society.

1.2 Public transport — of great value for society
1790 Million NOK 8046 Million NOK = 4.50 +4 499 Million NOKBenefits to car users +1 332 Million NOKBenefits to public transport users +494 Million NOKAvoided environmental costs +622 Million NOKAvoided costs of parking space +243 Million NOKAvoided costs of traffic accidents -37 Million NOKWear and tear infrastructure -499 Million NOKHealth benefits of walking and biking +1 392 Million NOKEconomic growth
Every krone in public transport subsidy generates four fifty in return to society.
>Download original image

Car drivers benefit the most from the growth in public transport, as they experience less queues and thus reach their destination faster. Other effects include fewer accidents, less pollution, space saved by reduced parking, increased economic growth, and more effective resource use. At the same time, the accounts show that there is competition between public transport, cycling and walking, and that we to a greater degree should find solutions that contribute to a better interaction and role division between the green mobility modes, where cycling and walking can meet a greater share of the growth in the denser urban areas.


What is required?

The metro will reach full capacity through Oslo in 2025-2030.The development in recent years shows that ambitiousness works. Current policies in Oslo and Akershus have contributed to investments and subsidies for public transport that have made it possible to develop an increasingly attractive public transport service. More travellers choose public transport and feedback from customers is positive.

However, we are now seeing signs of growth pains: for instance, trams and buses are full during rush hour, and the metro will reach its full capacity through Oslo in 2025-2030. Considerable strategic action is required for the positive development to continue. The need for significant investments and ambitious operational measures is great, and we must work effectively on realising these.

Ruter’s estimates show that to reach the goal for walking, cycling and public transport, the public transport system must be scaled for nearly 600 million journeys in 2060, while cycling and walking must make up close to 700 million journeys.

The prognosis of 600 million journeys by public transport is based on the expected population growth and subsequent demand for mobility, an assumption about the share of the growth that walking and cycling will constitute, as well as the goal of no increase in private car traffic.

Growth and densification intensify the struggle for land and require space-efficient mobility solutions.Compared to cars, public transport does not take up much space. The service must continue to be developed so that the capacity strong transport modes are utilised as fully as possible. This means more journeys must be undertaken by train and metro where the population base and number of travellers is large. City trams and light rail will also represent a good service where the capacity need is slightly lower and may have regional significance beyond the area covered by the metro. At the same time, a rational surface service of buses and cycling and walking paths must contribute to the dense grid of the mobility network, and good streetscapes and urban environments must be developed.

That public transport can move quickly and safely along routes and to stops is a significant prerequisite for efficient land use and for a good service for customers. Buses and trams must be in movement – not standing still in queues, filling up the streets. Buses and trams that are queuing are very expensive for society and unattractive for customers.


A customer and market oriented approach is the key to success

Investments with high societal benefits should be prioritised and realised faster than they are today.The solutions Ruter offers travellers should be so attractive that they become a natural first choice. The public transport service must be developed so that it is easier for more people to leave their car. This entails that:

  • Good integration with cycling and good walking paths in the dense urban areas should help ensure that journeys with multiple destinations and purposes can also be made without a car.
  • Public transport should be the natural choice for motorised journeys.

Market assessments and customer needs constitute Ruter’s point of departure. This also means that planning processes tied to large infrastructure projects must start with assessments of market potentials and customer needs.

1.3 Ruter’s market approach
The vision for the Customer of Mobility needs Increased capacity DensificationImproved Predictable and Targeted management Targeted follow-up From lines to Integrated journeys Digital mobility Market analysis Transport plan Projects and landuse commitment Financing andorganising Market success network assistant future of the capital region the future accessibility for and prioritisation of PT targeted financing
Market analyses form the basis for service development and any new infrastructure. Land use commitments, the right organisation and sufficient financing must be in place to achieve market success.
>Download original image

Investments with high societal benefits should be prioritised and realised faster than they are today, since they will have the greatest impact on market goals and market success.

The bus, boat, tram and metro services in Oslo and Akershus are operated by contractors based on orders placed by Ruter. Ruter’s contracts and business strategies should ensure that all operators are working towards the same goal, where customer and market considerations are at the core.