Copenhagen superhighway
Long distance commutes rise in Copenhagen

Copenhagen’s attempt to lure more people into commuting longer distances continues to be successful.

The cycling superhighway project, which assembles high quality routes from distant suburbs right through to the central city, is clocking up more riders each year, yet still has years of construction before it is a complete network.

Copenhagen has always has a high proportion of commuters riding bikes, but mostly on shorter trips.

Longer commutes were typically taken by public transport or car.

To meet its ambitious goals of increased bike commuting and CO2 reduction, the long distance commuters needed to switch to two wheels.

Copenhagen calculates that for a 7.5 km commute there is a 92% reduction of CO2 emissions by a shift from car to bicycle.

According to the latest Cycle Superhighway Bicycle Account, the strategy is working.

Since the opening of the first cycle superhighway:

  • 23% increase in the number of riders using the route
  • 14% of the new cyclists used to travel by car
  • Average trip length for cyclists is 11 km
  • Average speed is 19kmh
  • 400,000 km are cycled each day
  • 29,000 riders highest weekday number
  • 52% of the bike commuters are women

The report says bike commuters experience the longer bike ride as more time-efficient than a commute by train or car, even though commuting by bike often requires a bit more time.

Commuters experience the bike ride as time-efficient because it combines transport with their daily exercise and fresh air while it allows more free time.

There are currently eight superhighway routes. The vision is for a total of 45 high quality routes over 750 kilometres by 2045.

The cycle superhighways program is a partnership of 27 municipalities and the Capital Region of Denmark, who have joined forces to create better conditions for bike commuters across municipal borders.

Although originally a local initiative, it is now a national concept with national funding.

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