Trams have a long history in Helsinki. The first horse-drawn tram appeared on the streets of Helsinki in 1891. Nine years later, in 1900, electric tram service began operating between Töölö and Hietalahti market square. Since then the tram service has expanded to cover the entire inner city.
In fall 2008, a new tram route 9 began to operate between Kolmikulma and Itä-Pasila. Helsinki now has a total of 11 tram routes. There are plans of expanding tram service e.g. to Jätkäsaari, Kalasatama and Laajasalo.
Trams are mainly low floor. Articulated trams with steps are made accessible to the elderly and disabled by adding a low-floor middle section. All 42 articulated trams will be accessible by the end of 2012.
All trams are included in the Helmi system. Helmi is a traffic signal priority and information system through which trams get priority at traffic signals. Helmi also provides real-time information on the location of the trams to tram stop displays and other electronic systems.
HSL is responsible for the planning, development and procurement of tram services. The services are operated by HKL Tram.