Skånetrafiken was founded in 1999 when the two counties Kristianstads län and Malmöhus län were merged into one region. During this merger the two respective transport authorities were amalgamated. Presently, Skånetrafiken is a part of the regional government of Region Skåne.
The principal mission of Skånetrafiken is to plan for and market public transport in Skåne as well as procure and organise the work of private transport companies who run the transport services for Skånetrafiken. The private companies offer bids to run routes or staff certain functions for Skånetrafiken.
Public transport services
Skånetrafiken organise train services on several lines within Skåne, called Pågatåg, which are currently delivered under contract by Arriva. These are supplemented by the Öresundståg, regional train services which cross into Denmark and neighbouring counties in Sweden. The entire Öresundståg network is operated by DSBFirst, a consortium of the Danish national railway DSB and Britain’s FirstGroup; prior to 2009, these trains were operated jointly by DSB on the Danish side, and their Swedish counterpart SJ on the Swedish side.
Urban bus services are available in 10 cities and towns in Skåne with the majority of services in Malmö, Helsingborg and Lund. Regional buses routes that connect cities and town operate throughout Skåne. A colour scheme is used to distinguish urban from regional/inter-urban buse: the former are green whereas the latter are yellow. On a similar principle, Pågatåg trains are painted mauve with a red stripe, while Öresundståg vehicles are primarily silver-grey.
Skånetrafiken makes a distinction between three sub-types of yellow regional buses: Pendeln, which are frequent commuter bus lines (between for example Höganäs and Helsingborg, or between Lund and Malmö); SkåneExpressen, which travel greater distances between larger towns with few stops (similar in a sense to trains) and which cater to long-distance travellers; and the other, remaining, regional buses which Skånetrafiken has yet to differentiate and give a name.
Depending on the results of the bidding process, different bus companies are awarded contracts for bus lines. The principal bus companies running bus services for Skånetrafiken are Veolia Transport, Arriva, Swebus, and Bergkvarabuss.
Some services for transportation of handicapped people are also run by Skånetrafiken under the name of Serviceresor. Additionally, Skånetrafiken operates a boat service between Landskrona harbour and the island of Ven.
Buses to/from airports are not formally a part of Skånetrafiken at this time.
Some train and bus services between Skåne and the adjoining counties of Blekinge, Halland and Kronoberg are organised in conjunction with corresponding regional transit authorities in the respective counties.
Skånetrafiken has been experiencing increasing patronage on all of it services and most of it lines for a number of years. Figures for 2006 to 2008 appear below:
|Type of service||2006||2007||2008||Change 06-07||Change 07-08|
|Urban (city) buses||54,587,865||57,916,228||60,394,737||6.1%||4.2%|
|Regional buses (all types)||28,800,485||29,805,811||30,920,784||3.5%||3.7%|
|Trains within Skåne||21,118,000||23,331,000||25,600,000||10.5%||9.7%|
|Trains to/from Denmark||7,513,288||9,495,857||10,536,241||26.4%||11.0%|
Note that the Trains within Skåne fields are an estimate based on number of tickets sold by Skånetrafiken.
Tickets, prices and ticketing system
Since Skånetrafiken manages all public transport in Skåne, tickets can be transferable between lines and services. Furthermore, a passenger can buy a ticket on an urban bus in one city for a combined ride by bus – train – bus to a final destination in another city. This ease of ticketing may have been a contributing factor to the positive development in patronage since the inception of Skånetrafiken in 1999.
Skåne is divided into a number of zones. The price of a trip is determined by the number of zones crossed during a particular journey. The cost of a trip on an urban buses in only one zone will vary slightly between cities and towns.
Tickets can be purchased in cash, as part of a debitcard system, or via a 30 day transit pass. Tickets for single journeys on buses are bought from the driver. From 2009 both debitcard and passes are contact-less cards called "jojo". On buses, the card is held in front of the card reader on board. On trains, debit card holders buy a ticket in advance from machines on or near the platform. Pass holders just board the trains.
The debitcard can be refilled with cash (i.e. trips) at Skånetrafikens Customer Centres or at an affiliated organization. 30 day passes can be bought at the same locations. The 30 day passes can be purchased for a varying number of specified zones. An entire county 30 day pass is also available.
Prices are set by Skånetrafiken. During recent years prices have gone up, in part to finance new trains. There is no senior citizen discount. However, recently 17-19 year olds have been reclassified as "children" who thus pay only half the adult fare. This, according to Skånetrafiken, is part of a long term goal of increasing patronage as the habit of using public transportation over cars should be reinforced during the later teenage years.
The entire ticketing system in Skåne was switched in 2009 when the debit card and 30-day commuter cards have been merged into a common smart card system. Originally, this conversion was planned to be operational by 2007.
Skånetrafiken has been criticised, particularly in 2007, for not being sufficiently quick and decisive in response to increases in patronage. The success of some routes has been so good that overcrowding has plagued some train and bus services for months with no response on the part of Skånetrafiken; this has been particularly the case for rush-hour train service to and from Denmark. There was more criticism during 2009/2010 for crowding in the Malmö station which was being rebuilt. Skånetrafiken claims to have made changes in internal decision procedures to catch these problems more quickly in the future. The Malmö Central station has no room for more trains until a new tunnel is opened in the winter 2010–2011. It is not possible to rent or buy any old train for the traffic to Denmark, since both rail authorities have many requirements meaning custom made trains must be bought. New trains have now been ordered.