In April of this year more than 6 million passengers chose railway services. The state of epidemic, still in effect during that month, reduced the number of passengers in all modes of public transport. The number of railway passengers dropped by 66% in comparison with March of this year and by 77% comparing to last year's April, when it was higher by 20 million passengers.
Introduced restrictions have also influenced the average travel distance, which reached the level of 46 km. This value was lower by 9 km than in March and by 19 km lower than in April of 2019. Transfer service amounted to 282.1 million passenger-kilometres (a decrease by almost 71% in comparison with March and by almost 84% in comparison with April of 2019), and operational service - to 9.3 million train-kilometres (a fall by 29.2% as compared to March and by 31.8% as compared to April of 2019).
- April was an especially difficult month as also railway transfers strongly felt the results of restrictions imposed to contain the COVID-19 virus. It is certain that the Anticrisis Shield 3.0 mechanims will improve the financial situation of passenger railway carriers - remarks Mr. Ignacy Góra, Ph.D., the President of the Office of Rail Transport. - The COVID-19 restrictions are getting successively lifted, however it also poses a challenge for railways. The passengers should regain trust in public transport services. This means that cooperation among self-government, national and international institutions is important, also involving representatives of other transport branches - he adds.
Railway freight carriers transported over 16.7 million tonnes of goods in April (a decrease by almost 13.2% in comparison with March and by more than 17% in comparison with April of 2019). This means that changes of freight transfer results are smaller than of passenger transfer results. Freight transfer service amounted to 3.7 billion tonne-kilometres (a fall by 15.4% as compared with March and by more than 23.1% as compared with April of 2019), and operational service - to 5.6 million train-kilometres (a decrease by 11.9% in comparison with March and by 20.7% in comparison with April of 2019).
- One can clearly notice that the epidemic has had far smaller impact on freight services than on passenger services. The possibility to carry out freight transfers without additional restrictions, also in international communication, has allowed for the same level of completion of received orders - assesses Mr. Góra. - Freight transport is extremely important for efficient functioning of the economy, especially in such a difficult time for both the state and the citizens - he adds.