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Photo: DSB

Shared cars and buses force DSB to act

Denmark’s national rail operator aims to win passengers back on the rails by offering new discounted tickets.

Under pressure from competition by intercity coaches and ride sharing, Denmark’s national rail operator DSB says it will bring in new discounted fares to lure more passengers.

More travellers are deserting the country’s trains on longer journeys, such as between Copenhagen and Aarhus, and The Local report, hitting the market share of national rail operator DSB.

And the company’s annual results, published late last week, have been negatively affected too, with a DKK 247 million (€33 million) decline in profits in 2018.

However, much of the drop in profits is related to a decrease in financial support from the state, the broadcaster DR reports, as well as having to spend DKK 137 million in providing rail replacement buses during network maintenance.

Meanwhile, DSB’s Swedish counterpart SJ is also threatening to muscle in on Denmark’s passenger transport sector.

But now a new type of discount ticket is being introduced to win passengers back onto the rails.

“We have lost a share of the market over the last couple of years,” admits Flemming Jensen, chief executive of DSB.

“Competition in the form of cheaper [shared] cars and buses has entered the market. For that reason, we are now launching a new ticket product.”

Orange Fri
Double the number of tickets on the existing Orange discount scheme will be offered, rising to 120,000 per week.

And a new ticket type, Orange Fri, will be available for all journeys and refundable until just before departure. These will be a little more expensive than Orange tickets.

That could mean a fare of DKK 199 between Copenhagen and Aarhus, for example, the newspaper Politiken points out.

DSB is also planning to invest DKK 250 million in new carpets, seat covers and head rests as well as improving on-board Wi-Fi.

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