Despite promises, transport prices to rise … again

New budget from bus operator Movia means commuters will pay an average of 3.5 percent more

One year ago at this time, the city’s streets were filled with buses featuring Villy Søvndal’s smiling mug and a promise that bus and train passes would fall by 40 percent if voters elected Søvndal’s Socialistisk Folkeparti (SF) and its election ally Socialdemokraterne (S) to power.

What a difference a year makes.

After commuters saw ticket prices rise just over two months after the SF-S-Radikale government came to power, they will now be hit with yet another price hike in 2013.

Politiken newspaper reported today that traffic company Movia, which operates 570 bus lines in the Copenhagen area, approved a budget that will see rates rise by an average of 3.5 percent. For commuters who travel on a monthly all-zones card, that means an increase of 43 kroner a month, while commuters who use a three-zone, ten-ride klippekort will now pay 197 kroner, a 7-kroner increase.

The distribution of price increases, however, is still uncertain. Movia will have to negotiate with state-owned train operator DSB and Metroselskabet, the company that operates the Metro.

Because commuters can use one period card, single ticket or klippekort to travel on all three means of transport, the three involved companies need to agree on how to implement the price increase.

During last year’s election, S and SF’s promises for cheaper transport were built largely around their proposed congestion charge, which was ultimately shelved in a major setback for the new government.

When last November’s transport price increases were announced, the government parties said they couldn’t rule out an additional increase in 2013. With those new increases now an imminent reality, those bus advertisements from a year ago fade even further into memory.