Sales of 30 day commuter passes by southern Sweden's transport operator Skånetrafiken for the trains between the two cities were down 18.6 percent in February 2017 compared to February 2016, and down 7.5 percent in January 2017 compared to January 2016.
The February drop came despite the initiation of a change designed to streamline the ID checking process at the Danish side of the journey, which has been a thorn in the side of commuters for over a year. As of January 30th they no longer have to go through the time-consuming process of switching to a different platform in order to have their ID verified at Kastrup rail station as they previously did.
Instead, ID is now checked on the same platform from which trains arrive and depart the airport rail station. Danish rail operator DSB introduced the change to the ID checks after 12 months of declining passenger numbers: many people commute between Malmö and Copenhagen and have complained about delays and the time added to their journeys.
A further move to streamline the process was agreed in February, when Denmark gave the go-ahead for Swedish police to board the trains in Copenhagen and then begin border checks at the Swedish end of the bridge as soon as the train physically crosses the border into Sweden. It is hoped that change can also reduce the inconvenience caused to those who use the trains to commute.
Though Sweden and Denmark are both part of the border-free Schengen zone, the temporary ID checks have been in place since January 2016, as the two nations attempted to get to grips with the flow of asylum seekers over the crossing following the peak of the refugee crisis in 2015.