Traffic Signals that Prioritize Bikes and Buses

Copenhagen has installed new, intelligent traffic signals that prioritize cyclists and bus riders, saving up to 20% on travel times.

In early 2016, the City of Copenhagen installed new, intelligent traffic signals at 380 intersections around the city. The purpose of the signal upgrade is to improve commuting times for cyclists and transit riders, encouraging these modes of transportation by making traveling in the city as green and easy as possible.
The city estimates bus passengers will save between 5% and 20% on their travel times, while cyclists can expect a 10% reduction in commuting times. The new, modern traffic signals are a key part of the city’s planned investment in intelligent transport systems. As the traffic signals are controlled online, the city can optimize signals remotely and coordinate them in a green wave for cyclists or other modes of transport.

Relevance of solution

Copenhagen has long been at the forefront of sustainable transportation. This new project to further promote the use of bicycles and public transit is part of a larger initiative to upgrade the city’s traffic systems and further modernize the transport network, keeping a strong focus on active and public transit.

Triple Bottom Line


Making it faster and easier to commute by public transit and bicycle will help the city reach its goal of carbon neutrality by 2025.


The physical and mental health benefits of cycling are numerous, and by promoting bicycle commuting, already at a 45% modal share, the city is investing in its residents’ health.


Cycling in Copenhagen during rush hour comes with a socioeconomic benefit of $0.25 per km, while driving has a societal cost of $0.86 per km.1 


  1. City of Copenhagen Technical and Environmental Administration.”City of Cyclists: The Bicycle Account 2014.” (2014)
  2. Photo © Tony Webster ()