Billions set aside for public transportation go unused
As fares rose and equipment crumbled last year, much of funding sat untouched
When the government scrapped the idea of a congestion zone (betalingsring) in Copenhagen, an annual consolation fund of one billion kroner was established to help with cheaper and better public transportation. The fund established 500 million kroner for repairs and equipment and 500 million for fare control.
Some 340 million kroner of the funding for fares was not used last year, while 216 million kroner of the equipment funding sat idle.
The Transport Ministry said that the unspent funds were the result of several rate reductions that are still being phased in and the failure of the troubled electronic travel ticket, Rejsekort.
The ministry stressed that the left-over funds would be rolled over for later use.
Commuters wondered why at least some of the funds could not be put to immediate use.
“It is impossible to describe what poor shape the equipment is in,” Michael Randropp, a spokesperson for commuters on the DSB line Kystbanen, told DR Nyheder. “Doors do not work, toilets overflow, air conditioners are broken, people are crammed in like sardines – there is a lot that could be done.”
Transportation Minister Pia Olsen Dyhr (SF) said that she is just now actually getting her hands on some of the funding.