Transport Impacts of the Copenhagen Metro

Transport Impacts of the Copenhagen Metro


Goran Vuk, Jane Ildensborg-Hansen, Danish Transport Research Institute, DK


A five year long before-and-after study has followed the construction of the Copenhagen metro. The paper provides some details of the metro?s effect on the modal shift, trip generation, destination choice and induced traffic captured in the study.


1. Introduction

The construction of metro in Copenhagen started in 1994 and the first phase was opened for operation in October 2002. The route connected the island of Sjælland, where the city centre is located, with the island of Amager to the south with two lines. Metro line 1 runs to a new town Ørestad, in the west Amager and metro line 2 runs to Lergravsparken, in the east Amager.

In 2003 the metro was extended in its second phase, which opened in two parts. In phase 2a, opened in May, the metro lines 1 and 2 were extended on the Sjælland side from the Nørreport station to Frederiksberg. In phase 2b, opened in October, the metro was further extended from Frederiksberg to Vanløse.

The metro?s phase 3 is still in construction (planned to be opened in 2007) where line 2 is extended from the Lergravsparken station to the Copenhagen International Airport in Kastrup.

Political negotiations for yet another extension of the Copenhagen metro took place in the end of 2005. According to the agreement, by the year 2017 the Metro City Ring will be built, connecting the main parts of the inner city.

The metro?s network in 2017 together with the Copenhagen S-train network will be so detailed that approximately 85% of the city?s dwellings, working and education places will have less than 10 min walk to the nearest train/metro station.

The construction of metro in the capital endorses local regeneration of public transport (shift of car users and the effect of induced traffic, e.g., increase in shopping activities, and thus reducing road congestion. The metro also influences the planning of travellers? daily activities.

A before-and-after study had followed the construction of phases 1, 2a and 2b. The focus of the study was on measuring the changes in travel behaviour among the population in Copenhagen caused by the construction of the metro.

The project?s contribution to the insight of the importance of a new urban public transport infrastructure lies within the following fields:
? The magnitude of modal shift from personal car to public transport,
? The magnitude of modal shift from bicycle to public transport, and
? The magnitude of induced traffic of the new public transport mode.

2. Methodology

Three screen lines and two catchment areas were defined in the study. The first screen line was defined by the channel between the Sjælland and Amager islands, i.e. Harbour channel. The other two screen lines were defined in the Frederiksberg area. Catchment areas were defined in a 500 m radius around two metro stations, i.e. Lergravsparken and Frederiksberg.

The study is based on three types of data:
1. Traffic counts. Traffic counts are cheap sources of information with respect to defining changes in traffic volumes for different modes and periods of time of day. Under this study the counts were completed at all three screen lines (including the metro counts) in the period 2000-2004, while the previously completed counts (the earliest counts date from 1990) were collected. Travel modes included in the counts were car, bus, train, bicycle and metro.

2. Postcard data. At the same locations where the counts were completed in the project, before-and-after postcard analyses were completed six months around the opening of the metro?s phases 1 and 2a. Data from these analyses include information about origin, destination, travel purpose and frequency of travel for the same trip purpose and mode, etc.

3. Panel data. In extension of the postcard analyses a panel survey with 2.000 respondents was carried out. One half of the sample was chosen from the postcard surveys in the Harbour channel, while the other half is recruited from the two catchment areas, 500 travellers in each area. Beside description of the activities/trips carried out the day before interviewing, the respondent revealed also some typical socio-economic characteristics such as family size, car ownership, income and employment. The interviews were telephone based. Efforts were made in order to ensure that the same travellers were interviewed in both surveys.

3. Results

In the analysing phase the data are used for testing the behavioural changes such as:
? Modal shift from car,
? Modal shift from public transport modes, i.e. bus and train,
? Modal shift from bicycle,
? Changes in trip generation,
? Changes in trip destination, and
? Induced traffic.

We show and discuss in this paper how the above defined behavioural changes have developed from the pre-metro period through out phases 1, 2a and 2b.


Association for European Transport