What Oslo Does Well in Urban Mobility
The top city in our Sustainable Mobility sub-index, Oslo has benefited from government investment and incentive policies to become a global leader in electric vehicle (EV) market share, earning its moniker as the "EV capital of the world." EVs reportedly accounted for more than 80% of new car sales in the second quarter of 2023. Norway also plans for zero-emission vehicles to account for all new car registrations beginning in 2025.
The city has become a world leader in air quality and has made great progress in limiting light and noise pollution. City government plans for 2023 commit to adding more stringent benchmarks in measuring air quality, maintaining speed limits of about 60 kilometers per hour (37 miles per hour) to reduce air pollution, and building more anti-noise barriers along roadways.
Urban Mobility Readiness Index, Sustainable Mobility and Public Transit scores
Challenges and Opportunities for Oslo Transportation System
Oslo lags behind many of its European peers in cycling infrastructure, and subsequently has relatively few residents riding bikes around the city. However, by the end of 2023, the city aims to have built 100 kilometers (62 miles) worth of cycling roads and at least 4,000 bike racks.
While the city has bolstered sustainable mobility via electric vehicle incentivization, it would benefit from continuing to encourage public transit ridership to lower the share of personal cars in the modal mix. Oslo’s commitment to reducing the price of single tickets by 20% and expanding bus, metro, and tram services may help boost ridership. The city’s public transit operator unveiled in 2023 a flexible ticket plan that sizes individual discounts based on how many single tickets a commuter purchased each month. Oslo sits at the eighth spot in our Public Transit sub-index.
Dimensions of the Urban Mobility Readiness Index score
How Oslo Can Improve Its Public Transportation and Sustainable Mobility
While Oslo is home to a strong sustainability culture, especially for EV usage, the city has yet to embrace cycling like many of its European peers. To close the gap to a peer like Amsterdam — its modal share is approximately four times that of Oslo — the city could focus on improving its cycling infrastructure by building dedicated bike lanes on popular roadways. Oslo’s previously mentioned, new cycling roads show strong progress, but further efforts will help. The city can also expand its car-free zones to cover larger areas and to lower traffic, promoting safety and accessibility for cyclists.
Oslo scores well on the Public Transit sub-index, but the city can do more to boost ridership, as only one third of Oslo's residents ride public transit. The city would need to increase its ridership share by 1.6 to become best-in class among its European peers. Oslo should focus on extending operating hours by increasing the size of its fleet and staff, increasing transit speed to improve rider experience, and investing in autonomous solutions for the long-term development of its public transit system.