READERS REVEAL: Is public transport good value in Denmark?

We asked our readers in Denmark for their views on the country's public transport and the recent rise in prices. Here's what you had to say.

READERS REVEAL: Is public transport good value in Denmark?
Public transport now costs more in Denmark. Do our readers still think it offers value for money? File photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix

Last month saw fares on public transport adjusted across Denmark. Prices increased by 4.9 percent on average although the exact price change depends on how far you are travelling, your mode of transport and location. 

Seventeen of our readers responded to our survey to say they thought public transport was now too expensive in Denmark. Ten readers thought it wasn’t.

One reader who didn’t think it was too expensive said, “Like all public transport, it does take longer than driving, but public transport here is generally safer, cleaner and more reliable than many other places in the world.”

Dan from South Africa agreed and said, “All public transport is well maintained and reasonably reliable. Worth the fare.” 

READ ALSO: Why public transport in Denmark could become even more expensive

Others who didn’t think it was too expensive mentioned the efficiency and cleanliness of public transport in Denmark. But Nick from New Zealand, who doesn’t think public transport is too expensive thinks DSB trains are unreliable.

“It’s pricey but the metros are worth it. The buses and trains are always late though,” said Christine from America.

“Good quality, normally reliable. Missing fast trains from Copenhagen to other cities in Denmark and Europe (Berlin, Amsterdam, Warsaw),” said Gabriel from Uruguay.

“In comparison with the UK, it’s cheap, runs all weekend, late into the evening and I do not need car even though I live outside Copenhagen. The ability to take your bike for free is fantastic,” said AJ from the UK.

Other readers were less positive about the costs and cited issues with services including reliability.

“Quality and cleanliness is fine, I still experience maintenance and late night bus replacements but it’s just too expensive,” said one reader.

Chris said, “Unreliable itinerary schedule at 5 to 6 o´clock in the morning. No air-condition in Metro trains.”

Ana from Spain said, “I live in Herning, public transport in this area is really bad. The trains to Aarhus/Vejle pass by every hour, with this kind of connection is almost impossible not to have a car. Besides that, the price for example Herning-Brande that is only 12 minutes is really really high compare with same time in Copenhagen area.”

Another reader, George, aged 34 said that stations and trains could be better presented.

“Dirty trains and stations, missing protection against cold in most stations, information screens out of order in many stations,” he wrote.

He added that schedule disruptions are sometimes not announced online or in relevant ticket apps.

“The schedule of buses is not respected many times. Information screen indicates that the bus is coming, but it is not,” he also wrote.

“It’s very expensive, especially if you just ride one or two stations. I hate that in 2023 I need to have a plastic card with me. There are digital solutions these days,” said Martin from the Czech Republic.

Martin was not the only reader to call for better digital solutions for the public transport network.

“I can almost never rely on the trip matching my travel plan on the phone,” said Radu, 39

“There seems to be no solution for overcrowded buses and metros I can’t get on,” he added.

“At the same time the Metro is overstaffed and the fare system discriminates against tourists who already find Copenhagen extremely expensive. I think price rises don’t reflect reality, are unjustified, hence my feeling is being taken advantage of,” he said.

Andrea from Italy also thinks prices are too high.

“The quality is usually good, but it doesn’t make sense to be this expensive for a small city like Copenhagen, which doesn’t have an extensive or complex public transport infrastructure like London, Paris or Berlin,” he wrote.

“I also find pretty nonsensical that if you take the Metro you always have to pay an extra cost, whether you have a monthly pass or just a regular ticket. It’s something I’ve never seen in any other city. It would be much easier and fair, maybe, of [operator] DOT to just fix a price, even if higher, that covers any type of transport. It’s not fair that a person who can only commute by metro always has to pay more than somebody who can reach their work destination by S-tog, for example,” he wrote.

Changing travel habits

Seven readers said they were already affected by the recent rise in public transport costs, with three saying they expect to be affected soon.

“I drive my car more often because it can be cheaper, faster, more reliable, comfortable and predictable,” Radu wrote.

One reader said they now try to use public transport less, while another said they only use public transport at weekends.

A third reader said they will now always cycle for journeys taking less than 45 minutes, to avoid public transport costs. 

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Why the electric bicycle is gaining popularity in Denmark

Denmark is known as a cycling nation, but an increasing number of people in the Nordic country are opting for an electric motor on their bicycle.

Why the electric bicycle is gaining popularity in Denmark

The popularity of electric bicycles has charged forwards in Denmark over the last decade.

While very few electric cycles or elcykler were sold in 2011, almost a quarter of all bicycles sold lad year were fitted with electric motors, according to a new report from the Danish Roads Directorate (Vejdirektoratet).

The report is based on a survey of around 3,000 people in Denmark.

While the electric bike has traditionally been seen as a mode of transport for older members of society, its use has become more widespread according to the Minister of Transport, Thomas Danielsen, who said he welcomed the increased use of electric bikes.

The minister noted that 32 percent of electric cycle-owning Danes are now under the age of 40, pointing out its use in rural locations with less public transport coverage.

“When you live somewhere where buses don’t leave eight times an hour, you need an alternative. In this sense it’s positive that the electric bicycle is gaining ground,” he said.

“Where 10-15 kilometres is too much for pure pedal power, the electric bicycle can make (cycling) a genuine alternative for daily transport,” he said.

The electric cycle is most popular in regional towns, where 16 percent currently opt for the chargeable bike.

Reasons giving for preferring it in the report were its easier use over long distances and ability to save travelling time compared to the regular push-bike.

Around half of electric bicycle users in the survey said it had fully or partially replaced their car.