Could this year’s budget reduce Denmark’s train and bus fares?

A left-wing party and key ally to the government says it wants major reductions to the cost of public transportation.

Could this year’s budget reduce Denmark’s train and bus fares?
Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix

The Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten) wants cheaper fares to be introduced by the new year.

The party, one of three parliamentary allies propping up the Social Democratic government, is to demand a reduction of as much as 30 percent to ticket prices in negotiations over the coming budget.

“One of our demands will be for (cheaper prices) to be noticeable when taking a bus or train after January 1st. So the price must be reduced significantly,” Red-Greed Alliance lead spokesperson Pernille Skipper said.

“It is currently possible to travel to London by plane for less than the price of a train ticket from Aalborg to Copenhagen, and that is completely idiotic if you want to be climate-conscious,” she added.

Asked whether the Red-Green Alliance would refuse to back a budget that did not include cheaper prices for public transport passengers, Skipper said that “you should never make ultimate demands in politics”.

Cheaper bus and train fares to the extent advocated by Red Green Alliance could cost the state up to 1.3 billion kroner, the party estimates. An additional 900 million kroner should be invested in new buses and trains, the group proposes.

Those costs would be covered by increased taxation of capital and shares as part of income taxes. Such a plan would increase state income by 5.3 billion kroner annually, the left wing party says, citing Tax Ministry figures.

Social Democrat finance spokesperson Christian Rabjerg Madsen said the government would not assess any budget proposals until the parties are sat at the negotiating table.

“It is clear that the government has obliged itself to make a historically ambitious effort to reach our climate targets. As such, it is crucial that we improve public transportation,” Madsen said.

The government is scheduled to present its proposed budget on October 2nd before parties negotiate a final deal. These are generally passed by parliament in December.

READ ALSO: 'Make it more affordable': What The Local readers think of Denmark's public transportation system

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Coronavirus in Denmark: These are the recommendations for using public transport

Authorities in Denmark have advised people in the country to avoid using public transport where possible in a measure aimed at limiting the spread of coronavirus.

Coronavirus in Denmark: These are the recommendations for using public transport
Nørreport Station on March 10th. Photo: Ida Guldbæk Arentsen/Ritzau Scanpix

Guidelines have also been provided to people taking buses, trains and metros in the country.

At the time of writing, 156 people in Denmark have tested positive for coronavirus. Of these, 7 are currently admitted to hospital, although none are in intensive care, Minister of Health Magnus Heunicke said at a Tuesday press briefing.

But the situation is susceptible to change and intensive care places at hospitals are being adjusted upwards, the minister also said.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said in comments reported by DR that the country’s population must take the situation seriously.

“We must take it seriously because the virus spreads quickly – faster than influenza,” the PM said.

“Everyone needs to change their behaviour and protect people for whom coronavirus could be even more serious,” she said.

According to the WHO, older people and people with pre-existing medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, cancer or diabetes appear to be more at risk of developing serious illness if they catch coronavirus or Covid-19. About 1 in every 5 people who catch it need hospital care, according to the World Health Organization.

Frederiksen said Denmark faces to possibility of capacity shortages “with regard to equipment, respirators and medical personnel” should an outbreak become more widespread.

Danish Health Authority (Sundhedsstyrelsen) director Søren Brostrøm noted meanwhile that many of the cases so far in Denmark had affected healthy people who have a good basis for recovery.

But the virus will eventually begin to impact more vulnerable segments of society and should therefore not be underestimated, Brostrøm said according to DR.

READ ALSO: Denmark bans flights from northern Italy, coronavirus infections rise to 156

A specific area in which the public has been encouraged to change its behaviour to hinder coronavirus spread is public transport.

In a press statement, the Ministry of Transport and Housing encouraged avoiding peak periods if possible, to reduce crowds.

That could be done be coming into work later, for example.

“For a lot of people, public transport is part of everyday life where you stand or sit close to other people,” transport minister Benny Engelbrecht said.

“Therefore, in the current situation with coronavirus, we urge commuters to be considerate of each other and especially towards the elderly fellow travellers,” the minister said.

These are the five actions encouraged for people making public transport journeys in Denmark.

1. Walk or cycle for shorter trips

If you have a short journey, consider cycling or walking and thereby avoiding public transport.

2. Travel outside peak time

Consider making your journey outside of rush hour, for example by moving your appointment or arriving at work a little sooner or later than normal.

3. Be considerate towards other passengers

Do not cough and sneeze in the direction of other passengers. If you need to cough or sneeze, do it into the bend of your elbow or in a disposable tissue. Be extra careful not to cough or sneeze towards near older passengers.

4. Don't forget to wash your hands

Good and thorough hand hygiene is effective in prevention of coronavirus infection.

You can read more about general hygiene advice in our paywall-free information article, which also contains the latest news on the coronavirus situation as it develops in Denmark. The article is updated daily.

5. Do not take public transport if you are ill or think you might be infected

If you feel ill or suspect that you might be infected, be considerate to others by not traveling on public transport at all.

Meanwhile, Copenhagen’s Metro Company is to put more carriages into use as well as increase frequency of trains in order to increase capacity and therefore the space between passengers on board, DR writes.

The company also stated that it is increasing cleaning of handles and straps on board trains.

National rail operator DSB has offered to refund customers who have purchased tickets but have now changed their mind about travelling due to coronavirus, the company said on its website.


The Danish Patient Safety Authority is currently offering a number of helplines for people affected by the coronavirus.

People in home quarantine can contact the authority with questions of a practical nature between 9am and 10pm. The relevant telephone numbers are 72 22 74 28 (Copenhagen and Zealand regions); 70 20 21 77 (Central and North Jutland regions); and 29 31 98 63 (South Denmark region).

A hotline for both healthcare workers and the general public who have questions about coronavirus has also been set up. The number for this is 70 20 02 33.

Health authorities in Denmark and elsewhere are worried about potentially infected people turning up at hospitals and passing on the virus.

Therefore, you should always start by contacting your doctor by telephone. Remember to state that you have been in an area of infection, if this is the case.

You can read more about symptoms and who to contact in our paywall-free information article.

You can keep up to date with coronavirus situation in Denmark via this article, which also includes official guidelines on the everyday precautions you can take and what to do and who to contact if you have travelled to outbreak areas or are concerned about symptoms. The article will be updated on an ongoing basis.

We are keeping the article paywall-free, which means it will remain open to new or occasional readers. 



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Editor, The Local Denmark