12 January 2010

Bicycles Free on Trains in 2010

Transport Integration
It was announced today that Danish State Railways [DSB] will allow bicycles to travel free on the red S-trains that serve Greater Copenhagen and suburbs. It is a test period that starts this Friday and that will last for the rest of the year. DSB hope to make everyday journeys easier for Copenhageners and encourage more people to use their bicycle.

Bike Clip Card
It normally only costs 12 kroner [$2.25] for a bicycle ticket - even less if you buy a ten trip card, as above, but completing removing the need for a ticket will encourage many more people to combine train and bike on their daily journey.

All the rules about taking your bicycle on the S-Train still apply, it's just free now.

The S-trains have about 7.5 million passengers a month.

Bike Meets Train. Falls in Love.
DSB is not concerned about the increase in bicycles in the specially designed bike/pram/wheelchair compartments.

"We have personnel on board to help people move around and rearrange so there is space for everyone. We are very confident that there will be room for all", said Niklas Marschall from DSB S-train.

It remains to be seen if the Copenhagen Metro will follow suit. A propos nothing, they have a cool web address: www.m.dk. I love the single-letter web addresses.

All in all, Copenhagenize is thrilled about this new initiative from DSB.


In other public transport related news, a survey of prices for monthly travel cards in Europe shows that Copenhagen has the third cheapest travel cards for public transport, if you measure it in kilometres travelled. Only Helsinki and Brussels are cheaper.

This press release is a bit more vague. There is constant criticism of ticket prices being too high in Copenhagen. It costs 21 kroner [$4.20] for a single journey and while it is only 13 kroner [$2.50] if you buy a ten trip card, the price is much higher than many other European cities, even when you adjust for our higher standard of living.

This 'per kilometre' yardstick sounds like spin. Kind of like the 'driving a car is safer 'per kilometre...' statistic that the car industry is so fond of. Which would make space travel the safest form of transport, even though 5% of all people who have been in space were killed, and that doesn't include an even greater number of ground crew.

Anyway, Copenhagen has the third-largest urban sprawl in Europe so here's me assuming that public transport users will often travel longer compared to other cities. Which kind of takes the shine off the report.

Cheaper public transport, please.

For more bits on Bikes on Trains here on Copenhagenize click here.

Source for DSB's free bikes on trains.


Kim said...

I am surprised to find that Denmark is only just allowing bike on trains for free. Here in Scotland we have had this for years, and my experience in Austria is that you can your bike on the train for free (also on some buses). Good to see the Danes are catching up with other parts of Europe ;-)

anna said...

Wow, that's great! On the other hand I'm sad that it becomes more and more complicated to transport bikes along on fast trains across Europe (I prefer to travel on night trains rather than flying short distances). In Austria, the Austrian Railways even ignored some of the EU regulations as they did not install multiple use compartments (e.g. for bicycles) in their new railjet trains. Done is done though, and nobody seems to care anymore...

Kiwehtin said...

I looked up the prices con the 'm' site. 23 DKR for two zones equals CAD $4.63. Wow. Montreal has $2.75 (new price) for a ticket valid over the whole area served by the Montreal Transportation Commission, valid for (I believe) two hours after validation.

Anonymous said...

Mikael! You are humiliating us copenhageners by exposing our ridiculous public transport system. We will be the laughing stock of city-dwellers worldwide and only car nuts will visit our city. :)

This initiative is very welcome though. I find the price for taking the S-trains and Metro prohibitively high, and even more so when I have to pay extra for bringing my bike. As a result, I practically never take the train with my bike (neither without), but I will rather borrow a car from a family member for the long trips.
Two adults with bicycles going on a sunday trip to the woods near Holte, north of CPH, may end up spending around 180 Dkr for return tickets from central Copenhagen, even when using the rebate cards. With the bikes-for-free deal, that price will drop by 48 Dkr, so that's a start.

I guess someone in the danish railways are finally starting to realize that they have to actually cater for the customers' needs, if they want us to use their products - as opposed to just making solutions to satisfy the politicians.

Erik Sandblom said...

I'm not a fan of cheaper public transit, though I do want cheaper and denser housing. One easy way to do that is to abolish parking requirements. The way it is now, the local authority can deny you a building permit just because you haven't promised to put in a certain minimum amount of car parking.

This reduces the cost of car parking and saves money for motorists. The rest of us get higher living costs, fewer apartments per building and urban sprawl.

Montreal Gazette: There is no free parking
Yimby GBG: Krönika: Avskaffa parkeringsnormen!

Klaus Mohn said...

Now they just need to make bikes free on the Öresund train! Imagine taking a day trip to Lund with your bike... you can ride around the old center, get lost in the Scanian countryside, and be home in time for dinner. Well, you can already do that, but it's expensive.

wee folding bike said...

I like the big bike logo on the side of the carriage. Here (Scotland) it's hard to find the bike carriage.

Erik Sandblom said...

In Stockholm you can take bikes on the commuter train for free. However, bikes are forbidden between 6 am and 9 am, and between 3 pm and 6 pm. Six hours total!
Cyklar, inlines och skateboardar i SL-trafiken

Ecoprofile: Snart tillåtet med cyklar på stockholmsbussar

Christa said...

First time I've seen a bike logo on a train. Nice message.

Melbourne Cyclist said...

It's free to take bikes on trains in Australia, well, Melbourne at any rate, and I believe regional Victorian trains are ok if there's room (not sure about the regional ones though). They were briefly banned during peak hours at one point, with the excuse being that they took up too much room, but vocal objection swiftly removed that ban (the objection centred around the much-reviled train operators and Dept of Transport trying to make cyclists the scapegoats for their failures to run a decent service).

I've found it quite easy travelling on trains during off-peak hours with my bike, although it's very rare that I'll actually do that (yearly maybe?). Actually managing to get on a train at all during peak hour is a whole different question, even if you're stick thin with no bags, and isn't something I ever attempt...

Anonymous said...

It's a matter of market economy. What Mikael routinely omits, is that a cheap family car costs a million dollars here in Denmark, and the gasoline is $15.000 a gallon, so the (not so) public transport system can afford to screw you out of $500 per kilometre and still depend on a steady, monopolistic revenue.


gruad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gruad said...

Kim said thats its free to take bikes on trains in Austria. Unfortunately this is not true. Its rather expensive and you have to buy a "day-ticket" even if you are going only going for a short trip.
If you take fast trains it gets even more expensive, but actually its very hard to find a train that even permits bikes on the trains.
Most trains are "no bikes" and last year it happended three times to me that a announced "bike-carrying" train wasnt able to carry the bike cause the needed waggon wasnt attach to the train.

its simply a nightmare and the austrian trains (ÖBB) is completely ignorant to the topic.

Anonymous said...

And about Brussels :

Sure it's relatively cheap and you do not pay for the bike in the tram (which is great). On the train it's expensive to take the bike (9 euros/day, no matter how long/how many trips).

But I wanted to take the chance to complain about something that made me mad : train tickets to the airport more than doubled price since this november. There is an 'temporary' (=35 years !) tax to finance the building of a new station, I guess for the workers of European commission to save a few minutes.

Again a way to 'punish' those who ride public transportation and encourage driving :-(
(+ what is typical...and disappointing is that there were no discussion or demonstration against that. Man, in Berlin there would have been riots for this kind of political decision).

I'm tired of conservatism...

Kim said...

It is interesting to see the comments on Austrian trains. I don't remember having to pay for the bike the last time I took one from Innsbruck to Scharnitz, but maybe I have just forgotten that I did.

But I did definitely see bikes on the ÖBB trains when I went from Munich to Innsbruck three weeks ago.

Andy B from Jersey said...

Wow! Our NJ TRANSIT trains were somehow more bikefriendly than the Dane's?!?!

Pigs can fly!

Then again this might be due to an old New Jersey law.
See: http://walkbikejersey.blogspot.com/2010/01/interesting-statute-of-month-no-charge.html

Anonymous said...

It was time for this measure in Denmark! I remember being fined for not having the bicycle ticket when I used to live there. I had to pay around 20€ for my "crime".
Just having your bike on the train is more expensive than a normal train ticket in Barcelona.

youtube.com/debbje said...

going to facebook this!

cyclotour harvey said...

I need photographic images of bicycle carriage facilities on long distance, not commuter, rail passenger cars operating in Denmark, other Europoean nations, Japan, China, India, and Latin America.
I shall use these pictures to encourage the U. S. A.'s rail passenger system, Amtrak, to purchase railway passenger cars with such facilities. Amtrak is currently planning the purchase of a "universal" Amtrak train set (locomotives, passenger cars, & baggage cars).

I need information on the fees assessed for the carriage of bicycles on such long distance trains.