Campus 22/2-15 3:03

Rejsekort: How to use the puzzling Danish travel card

Rejsekortet
Photo: Xuan Peng
Here is our guide to getting the most out of the controversial new Danish travel card. This includes ways to avoid using it in the first place!

Are you a part of the frustrated multitude, or are you a secret fan? The roll-out of the new Danish electronic travel rejsekort has not been a success by any measure.

Introduced in 2012, it was intended to smoothen the transportation of commuters, but complaints about the rejsekort have numbered approximately 500 complaints per day between July and September this year.

It is unpopular and complicated. The Rejsekort company took home DKK 40 million in fines from the consumers for forgotten check-outs between January and November 2014.

On the international review platform for ecommerce Trustpilot the Rejsekort system consumers give it a disastrous one out of five stars.

Obviously lapses in information and efficiency exist.

Regardless of whether these complaints are from curmudgeonly travelers that despise change or because of misinformation from the company and too many 'out of order' machines, this guide will make you an expert in the recently changed Danish public transportation system.

Buy a Wildcard

If you are between the ages of 16 and 26 or a recipient of SU (student support), the University Post recommends buying a Wildcard. This makes your journeys outside of the area of larger Copenhagen cheaper.

A Wildcard costs DKK 185 for one year and gives travelers a 50 per cent discount on low travel days, 25 per cent off on high travel days (Fridays, Sundays and holidays), and 20 per cent off on trips across the Øresund to Sweden.

This means that a trip to from Copenhagen to Aarhus would already pay off the costs of the card and give you the advantage of ordering a youth rejsekort.

However, if you aren’t planning on going much further than the airport or Helsingør with Danish public transportation, then a Wildcard is not for you, because the youth discounts are not given within the Capital Region.

Buy a rejsekort with or without a CPR-number

If you are not Danish the Rejsekort is particularly daunting, because the standard process uses the Danish CPR number.

While the main application for Rejsekort Personal or Rejsekort Flex requires a CPR-number, a second application allows new arrivals to order one with alternative documentation, such as a passport.

While the Rejsekort Personal is free, the Rejsekort Flex has an administrative fee of 50 kroner. They can be ordered online or in store, have a minimum initial top up of 100 kroner, and require a valid address in Denmark.

Alternatively, Rejsekort Anonymous can be ordered by anyone for the cost of 80 kroner. However, a prepayment of 750 kroner is required for journeys outside of the Capital Region (TMH on this map) so we recommend buying an individual ticket for these journeys.

Check out ONLY at the end of your journey

One of the most confusing aspects of the rejsekort has been whether to check in or out when transferring. We have not seen any numbers on how much money the Rejsekort company has taken in as a result of this confusion.

So as a general rule: Remember to check in at each transfer but do not check out until the absolute end of your trip.

Like everything in Rejsekort, however it is extremely complicated. For example there is the 30 minute rule. This means that if you are, for example, picking up a friend from the airport or running another errand that allows you to transfer in less than thirty minutes, you actually can check out.

One of our astute readers, Chiara, made us aware of the relevant passage in the Rejsekort rules. "If you check out and then check in again in the same travel zone within 30 minutes, rejsekort converts the two separate journeys into one. This means that you avoid paying the minimum two-zone fare applicable for each separate journey."

Be careful how you play it here. Failure to check-in would entitle you to the ultimate 'stupidity fine', a 'kontrolafgift' of DKK 750. If the worst comes to the worst, play stupid and pretend you don't understand the rules.

Or just ... don’t check out at all

An anonymous source hinted to the University Post that you could make your journey across the country that would cost a fraction of what it normally would.

“You can take the train to, for instance, Aarhus and just forget to check out, so that you are only charged the ‘stupidity fine’ of 50 kroner.”

The stupidity fines (or dummebøder) exist so that travelers who forget to check out don’t get a free ride, but the fine instead, regardless of where they got on and off. Due to excessive complaining, the fine was actually halved from 50 to 25 kroner as of 20 January, which would make the above trick even better.

But be warned: the card is revoked the third time you forget to check out in a 12 month time period, so it might not be worth the risk. If you forget to check out three times within 12 months, and the company warns you twice by letter or e-mail it can "register you in their customer database." (Presumably as a bad customer!)

Alternatives to rejsekort

If you have guests visiting or refuse in principle to buy a rejsekort, there are still a couple of other options.

Individual tickets can still be purchased on buses (cash only), in metro and train stations or on your phone using a DSB app or via a text message, but they tend to be more expensive than if purchased with a rejsekort.

Tourists can purchase a CityPass valid for 24 hours (DKK 80), 72 hours (DKK 200) or a Copenhagen Card with access to over 60 sights and unlimited public transportation for 24 hours (DKK 339), 48 hours (DKK 469), 72 hours (DKK 559) or 120 hours (DKK 779).

Alternatively, you can purchase a FlexCard for 7 days (DKK 250 kroner) or 30 days (DKK 450). The greatest benefit of this card is that it is not a personal card and can in fact be shared between multiple people (although not on the same trip, obviously).

If you are a commuter, or travel often, you can save in your overall monthly costs by purchasing a Periodekort, or Pendlerkort, a personal monthly travel pass allowing you to travel unlimited within a specified number of zones for 30 days. The standard 2 zone card is DKK 365, and a pass for all zones is DKK 1,335. These cards can also be purchased at train stations and 7-Eleven stores, as well as over a smartphone on the DSB mobile ticket app.

Benefits of rejsekort. Yes, there are some!

Despite the complaints, the confusion, and the stupidity fines, there are, apparently, rejsekort fans out there. They point out that it’s flexible, convenient, great for groups as you can check in multiple people, gives you off-peak discounts, environmentally friendly, allows you to see your journey history. Some users think it is a step in the right direction.

In an interview with University Post, University of Copenhagen graduate student Ralph Møller Trane is willing to go on the record with his view of the Rejsekort. He claims to have no affiliation with the Rejsekort company.

“There will always be people who don’t like change and therefore complain about the new system, and although it isn’t perfect yet, I definitely think that Rejsekort is the future. It gives you the benefit of not worrying about how many clips you have left on your klippekort or how many zones you need for your journey.”

So off you go then. Have a good trip!

Any tips or additional information on the Rejsekort? Feel free to write them in the comment field below.

universitypost@adm.ku.dk

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Comments

Robbery

By bunja on 13. September 2016, 12:57.

I have never seen a system that is committed to robbery as here in DK. You pay 50 kroner for the travel card. Whenever you feel you don't want to use it any longer & return it to DSB and get the rest of the money in the card, they take YOUR card. I asked why? I paid 50 kroner for it, I should be able to keep it in case I want to use it some day. The staff say NO. They don't operate rationally.
& that 750 fine if you miss one zone having four zone ticket is insane. Simply, systematic robbery

Not saying I will do it but...

By Eric Tacher on 1. June 2015, 12:37.

Thanks for the article, it's really helpful for people with limited knowledge of the Danish language (though it looks like Danes are also puzzled by the unclear rules of the Rejsekort).

The part where you describe how someone could -hypothetically- not check out intentionally to be fined with 50 (or 25) kroner instead of actually paying a trip outside Sjælland (Aarhus in the example) got me thinking.

How are these people controlled in the train?

Usually a person would come by asking for your train ticket - I could assume that if you show your Rejsekort, they could scan it and register that you are traveling, at least until said geographic point where the control takes place. So in theory the system could tell that you were already somewhere past zone XX (e.g. Fyn) and hence some other kind of penalty or fee should apply...

Just a thought - I have no intention of trying it out myself, but got me thinking on how are long distance travelers checked when using the Rejsekort to go to other cities...

Cheers

Learn from the best

By Peter on 18. April 2015, 0:40.

Just look at e.g. Prague -- you either get a personal or an anonymous card. Then you buy a monthly, quarterly or a yearly ticket, which means you just pay once and then you can use metro, trams, buses for the whole period without any hassle of checking in or out. You can get to the airport and quite far from the centre without contemplating, which zone you are in. Basically ~ 15 km around the centre in each direction is covered by the ticket.

But wait for the best part -- yearly ticket costs 1300 dkk and you can travel how much you like...

Periodekort / monthly pass

By Mikkel Nielsen on 6. March 2015, 13:34.

You totally forgot to mention the obvious alternative to the Rejsekort, which is the "Periodekort" or "monthly pass". This card is great for commuters travelling the same ways every day.

Also I think it is very unclassy and really disgusting to suggest reader to forget to check out in order to cheat the system. This sort of conduct and amorality surely cannot be sanctioned from the KU newspaper.

Cheers otherwise!

Alternative to Rejsekort

By Alix Feldman on 11. March 2015, 9:06.

Thanks Mikkel,

The article has now been updated to include the Periodekort, as a useful alternative to the Rejsekort.

Regards,
Alix Feldman
University Post

When to check out

By Birthe on 2. March 2015, 19:24.

Two situations where you should check out even if your trip is not done:

A. You may change your mind. Walk the two stops you had planned to use the second bus line for - for whatever reason.
B. It may be late, and the time when you reach your connecting bus may be past the final bus of the evening (walking again....)

- I always check out when I leave 'something'. That also minimizes the risk of forgetting to check out!

NO!

By NO on 25. February 2015, 10:39.

The rejsekort flex is not free, it costs 50 dkk in administration. Only the Rejsekort Personal is free.

Correction

By Alix Feldman on 25. February 2015, 11:51.

Thanks, NO, this has been adjusted, Alix, University Post

regarding guests

By Mika on 23. February 2015, 22:34.

It doesn't seem like this article was researched properly.

You can bring people with you on your Rejsekort. Unless you and your guest plan to only be inside zones 1-2 or 1-2-3 and really travel a lot, it would probably be better than FlexCard.
Some of the check-in posts has +'s and -'s where you can add people. You only need to do this once. When you check in further times and when you check out, you do this for everyone.

You can actually also start your journey with more people in the bus! You just need to tell the bus-driver how many you are checking in for (before checking in!) (and which types, if you have children with your for instance, or animals).
It's not really used, as it's not really advertised much, but now that there are soon no punch cards, I suspect it will come in to use more.

If you travel in bigger groups, like 3 to 5, you actually get even more discount on the group fare, if your journey goes outside a zone area. The rules for that are a bit more complicated, but using a Rejsekort with a friend is really not. And it is already almost half price than a regular ticket when you are inside the chp-area.

Misrepresented Rejsekort

By Ian Reid on 23. February 2015, 14:27.

The DKK 40 M are not "fines", any more than, if you buy an 30 kr item in a store with a 50 kr note, and leave without collecting your change, you can claim that the store has "fined" you 50 kr for being forgetful.

Fine

By Nut Thu Klevver on 27. September 2016, 16:23.

IT'S a fine.
People who have used the train/buss every day for years and years, in a system where all tickets, commuter card ect, are done only before your tips starts, cant be expected to learn overnight to do it both before and after their journey. Now they Pay a fine every day. 40 000 000 dkr in 11 months....

PS
I cant see the last letter in the box, but I am human.....

Forgetting to check out on purpose

By Frederik on 23. February 2015, 14:20.

You should be aware that it is not allowed to 'forget' to check out on purpose. Even though the risk of getting sanctioned by a fine is much smaller than going without a ticket, it is still just as unlawful

I've been using the Oyster

By M. Edelstein on 23. February 2015, 14:08.

I've been using the Oyster card in London for many years, and Rejsekortet is definitely inferior, except for the authorities, who collect a multitude of fines. To start with, in London (Paris, New York, and probably loads of other places) you are forced to swipe your card to get into the system at all, and also to get out again. Here, you can just stroll absentmindedly through and be penalised.
With the Oyster, you can have both your season ticket and other credit for pay-as-you-go on the same card - with Rejsekortetet, you still need multiple tickets, and abolishing the klippekort makes this a real problem
With Oyster, there's price-capping - once you've spent a certain daily maximum you travel free for the rest of the day, automatically.

DKK 40 million in fines

By Lennart Amden on 23. February 2015, 13:51.

Collected "from the consumers for forgotten check-outs between January and November 2015."

I guess the year should be 2014 :)

DKK 40m in fines

By Mike Young on 24. February 2015, 8:07.

Thanks Lennart, is changed! Mike, University Post

multiple people on buses

By Lubo on 23. February 2015, 13:06.

Checking in multiple people on buses seems to be a bit of a black art for most bus drivers.

Commuter pass

By John on 23. February 2015, 12:59.

One thing I don't understand is if it is possible to use it together with a commuter pass (pendlerkort). For example you have a pass for zone 1 and 2, and want to make a trip that passes through zones 2, 3, and 4. In theory, you would only need to pay a ticket for two zones, but it won't really work with the rejsekort.

yes, for sure you can use it together with your monthly pass

By april on 25. February 2015, 13:46.

I have a monthly pass of zone 1 and 2, and if i wanna go to IKEA (zone 41) on bus 150S, I will show the bus driver of my monthly pass when get on to the bus, and wipe my RejseKort when it stops at Turborgvej. Remember to check out at IKEA.

I have tried in this way many times, and no drivers rejected me to do like this. So i guess this is the right way to use the Rejsekort and monthly pass combined.

hopefully being useful for you. :)

That is why you some time see

By Frederik on 23. February 2015, 14:29.

That is why you some time see people running out of the train to check in on the platform and hurry back into the train before it drives on. On a bus, it is easier to just go o the front of the bus and check when you enter a new zone.

The reason is, I think, that eventually rejsekortet will be able to work as a 'pendlerkort' as well. And when it does, the deduction of the price (for zone 2) will be done automatically. But we are still waiting for this. Maybe in 2016...

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Campus 10/1-17 13:02 1

Dorms Disclosed: Oresundskollegiet 2.0

Oresundskollegiet 2 cover photo
Things have changed quite a bit since we looked at Oresundskollegiet back in 2014. The University Post dropped by to see what life is like now at the dorm.

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