The aim of this paper is to study how local governments in Sweden view the role of public transport in society, and to investigate how public transport is used in a strategic capacity. By studying general policy documents, the ambition is to gain a wider understanding of the role of public transport based on the societal context it is situated in. Documents from 15 regions and 27 municipalities have been analysed by a qualitative content analysis. Results show that public transport is regarded as an important factor towards achieving other goals and other public values, particularly those related to economic and environmental issues; and that the social dimension is not as prioritised. Rail-bound public transport is often advocated, as are collaboration between organizations and integrated land-use and transport planning. However, the studied documents showed large overall differences in how counties and municipalities address public transport issues. It should be a priority in Sweden’s main steering documents to treat public transport consistently and give it the same priority as other societal functions—not least because Sweden’s treatment of public transport is a reasonable reflection of its overall society and can influence prioritisations and considerations in counties and municipalities across the country.