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Since December 2017, the Aarhus Light Rail (Letbane in Danish) have been serving Denmarks second largest city. A city with a population of just 273.077. Then it is very nice to be able to show stats that the light rail passenger numbers are increasing slowly but steady.

It is the light rail line L1 which the Danish people in the town call Grenaabanen in particular that has shown some really strong progress recently. In fact more than any politicians in the area and in Denmark would do. It takes time for citizens to understand how great a light rail system is. So patience is the key and now in January 2020 there are some really interesting stats showing a positive trend.

A significant increase in Passengers for the Aarhus Light Rail

In the press release that is published by letbanen.dk they mention that the mid-traffic counts for the fourth quarter show a significant increase in passenger numbers using the light rail service to Grenaa compared to previously stats.

The figures shows that about 4,600 customers have traveled with the light rail on a weekday in the last quarter of 2019. Back in 2016, there was about 4,000 customers that were counted on a weekdays using the same line which at that time used ordinary trains. These figures shows how important a light rail can be for the area where they are reaching.

Also a much more stable operation and a total timeframe of 98.1% for the entire stretch in December have resulted in customer growth on the Light Rail line between Aarhus H and Grenaa which is operated by L1. On an average weekday, approximately 18,500 customers travel on the entire route. While passenger numbers for L2 towards Odder and the inner stretch of Aarhus-Lystrup remain fairly stable throughout the autumn months, considerable growth was recorded towards Grenaa in the fourth quarter for L1 which is really impressive. Here Aarhus release numbers that shows how important it is to build such light rail network.

4600 customers have traveled with the Aaarhus Light Rail to Grenaa

In total 4,600 customers have traveled with the light rail L1 line towards Grenaa on a weekday. In comparison, 3,700 customers traveled this in the third quarter. Compared to passenger numbers from 2016 when DSB (Danish Railways) drove the regular trains on the stretch, the passenger numbers have increased by 600 customers on a weekday. Which is really nice. This shows that this light rail is doing what it is supposed to do. To make people travel and at the same time knowing that they care for the environment in the area. Very good!


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This rise in the light rail usage is not just something that is temporary. Expect to see the rising of passenger numbers by 2020 on the entire route.

“We are pleased that more stable operations and better timeliness will prompt more customers to take the Light Rail. With the current trend in passenger numbers, we expect between DKK 5.2-5.5 million. passengers in 2020. ” Ole Sørensen, Planning Manager at Midttrafik

There is also satisfaction in the light rail company

“It is satisfactory that there has been a significant increase in passenger numbers on the Grenaabanen, which shows that the work to create a more stable and better product seems to have had a positive effect. The light rail works every day to ensure an attractive product with high reliability and timeliness for the benefit of passengers, and we are moving in the right direction, ”says Michael Borre, director.


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The total passenger number for 2019 is estimated at DKK 4.45 million which is about 595,483 Euro. In the fourth quarter, with both autumn and Christmas holidays, the report can reveal that the total number of passengers was approximately 1.36 million. against approximately 1.2 million in the third quarter.


Here is the trend in graphs for Aarhus Letbane in 2019

Photoe: letbanen.dk – Showing passenger stats for the light rail in Aarhus

In the graph from the letbanen.dk website on the right side you can see the increase in Aarhus Light Rail usage in 2019. From about 300.000 in January 2019 to over 450.000 in November 2019. December had lots of days of at the end. These numbers for this light rail line shows how great its been doing. After some issues when starting up the service, this light rail service is doing really great.

Aarhus is a great example on that light rail works and that many other cities with the same amount of population should consider to implement it. Lund is another Scandinavian town that will see the introduction of a light rail tram service there. With a population of just 91,940 according to Wikipedia. This town is doing something good and Aarhus now shows that Lund needs to wait also for the progress to show. But it will come. Light Rail systems are very efficient and the fact that people using strollers or wheelchairs can feel a bit more worthy too by be able to travel without help to get on and off.

Should your city have light rail? Discuss the positive sides of it and make even more cities have these solutions. Really great for the environment too. Your city will breathe a lot more. Aarhus does. The stats shows that.


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Source: letbanen.dk, Wikipedia and Distrita Own Knowledge


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