The organization of public transport in Denmark

Tom Rallis
Klaus Meulengracht
Preben Vilhof


The sharp contrast between the public transportation needs of Greater Copenhagen and provincial Denmark has led to significant differences in policy and organizational structure for public transport in the two regions. Outside Copenhagen the period 1965–1975 saw a rapid decline in rural public transport supply and a rise in special services (school buses, etc.). A 1978 law requiring county councils to prepare comprehensive regional transport plans reversed this trend. Most counties now have economically responsible transport corporations which contract with public and private operators for service. School routes have been opened, train and bus schedules have been coordinated and zonal fare systems have been introduced. In Greater Copenhagen urban sprawl has promoted a gradual public take-over of most transport services in the region, culminating in an almost all-pervasive “public works” type of transport corporation under regional authority in the late 1970s.