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Danish party wants cheaper tickets on public transport

Danish left-wing party Red Green Alliance says it wants ticket prices on public transport to be halved, in a policy announcement ahead of the upcoming election.

Danish party wants cheaper tickets on public transport
Danish party Red Green Alliance says public transport should be made cheaper temporarily to help with inflation costs. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

The Red Green Alliance wants to cut the cost of public transport for passengers in a move it says would help people struggling financially due to inflation. The measure would be financed by postponing motorway projects, according to the proposal.

The ticket reduction would be temporary and would be in place for a one-year period up to January 1st 2024.

“We are seeing drastic inflation and we want to make sure people have a good, green alternative and cheaper public transport,” the party’s lead political spokesperson Mai Villadsen said.

“We are in a situation where we can see petrol prices going up in some places. Bus routes are getting cancelled. We want to keep them open. And the price of either charging an electric car or putting petrol in the tank is high,” she said.

“So we want to do something for public transport,” she said.

The party is also proposing financial relief for regional bus routes which are struggling to meet operational costs due to high fuel prices.

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The proposal, which would cost six billion kroner, could be financed by shelving a number of motorway projects planned as part of a 2035 infrastructure agreement, according to the Red Green Alliance proposal.

But the left-wing party did not vote for the infrastructure agreement – meaning it cannot change it unless it can get a majority of parties to agree to rip it up.

Villadsen said she did not see the proposal as unlikely to succeed.

“This is just as much a call to action for other parties who, in the middle of a climate and energy crisis, have decided to build new emissions-producing infrastructure and motorways,” she said.

She said she hopes to convince other parties on the left, including the governing Social Democrats, to change stance on the issue.

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TRANSPORT

Why public transport in Denmark could become even more expensive

Fare prices were this week raised for public transport across Denmark, but the price hikes might not be done yet according to a report.

Why public transport in Denmark could become even more expensive

Monday saw ticket prices for buses, trains, Metro and light rail services across Denmark go up by an average of 4.9 percent. The exact increase depends on how far you are travelling, the mode of transport and location.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about new public transport prices in Denmark

The price hikes might not be the last public transport passengers see this year, according to a report by broadcaster DR.

Companies which operate Denmark’s various public transport services are usually only permitted to raise prices once every year, but the hope to be given extraordinary permission for a second adjustment according to the report.

“We have now increased prices by 4.9 percent and that is based on some old inflation figures,” Steen Vindum, the chairperson of the national confederation for public transport companies, Trafikselskaberne, told DR.

Specifically, the traffic companies are looking for an additional 10 percent increase in fares from May or June onwards.

“Inflation in Denmark this year [2022, ed.] has been around 10 percent, and we wouldn’t be able to introduce that increase until 2024 under normal circumstances. That’s why we’ve applied to introduce it somewhat earlier,” Vindum said.

“We simply need to cover our increasing costs for fuel in general. If we don’t do that, the consequence is that there might be fewer bus departures in future,” he also said.

“The consequence could unfortunately also be that some people think public transport is getting too expensive and choose not to use it, and that’s why this is a difficult question. We are very aware that prices shouldn’t go up too much,” he said.

Transport minister Thomas Danielsen told DR that he expected the public to generally understand a 4.9 percent increase in fares given an inflation level of 10 percent.

He did not commit with regard to additional increases.

“When inflation is almost 10 percent, an increase of 4.9 percent isn’t very much,” he said.

“I will have to have a discussion with transport companies and their owners in relation to what they envisage before I say yes or no to one thing or another,” he said.

“Increasing prices do not promote the use of public transport, but everything in our society is increasing in price. So nothing is getting cheaper at the moment because of high inflation,” he said.

READ ALSO: How much will rising prices cost Danish families each month?

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