Public transport and coronavirus

Public transport in the Helsinki region is operating but we advise people to avoid non-essential travel.

Updated 26 May 2020

Avoid non-essential travel so that those who have to travel, can do so safely. We recommend walking and cycling, when possible.

We do our best to make HSL public transport as safe as possible for both staff and passengers. Cleaning regimes onboard and at stations have been stepped up and hand sanitizer dispensers have been installed at Metro stations and at the Helsinki Central Railway Station. However, there are also things you can do to increase your own and other people’s safety.

We have taken a number of measures to ensure the safety of drivers, ticket inspectors and customer service staff. Bus drivers do not sell tickets. Drivers are also protected by safety cabins, and front seats on buses and trams are closed off.

Public transport ridership has more than halved during the coronavirus epidemic. On average, there is plenty of room in the vehicles for maintaining a safe distance to other passengers. For short journeys, we recommend walking and cycling, especially at peak times, to allow room for mobility impaired passengers and those traveling longer distances.

Tips for safe travel

Only travel if you are healthy

  • Do not take public transport if you have any symptoms of illness.

Remember to keep your distance

  • Distance yourself from other passengers as much as you can at stations, stops and onboard.
  • We advise you to sit down rather than stand but avoid sitting next to somebody else.
  • If the vehicle is full, please wait for the next one if possible. Please allow time for your journey.
  • If you have a flexible schedule, avoid peak times (Mon-Fri 7-9am and 3.30-6pm).

Cough into a tissue or your sleeve

  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve.

Remember to wash your hands

  • It is important to practice good hand hygiene. There are hand sanitizer dispensers at some Metro stations and at the Helsinki Central Railway Station. You can also keep hand sanitizer with you.

Use mobile payment

  • Avoid touching devices. You can buy mobile tickets using your smartphone. Single tickets purchased via the HSL app cost the same as value tickets purchased with the HSL card.
  • If you use a ticket machine or a card reader, clean your hands before and after using the device.

Changes to public transport

Public transport passenger numbers have dropped by up to 70 percent because of the coronavirus epidemic. Buses and the Metro operate a summer timetable and trams operate a reduced service. Weekend night bus services are not running. Suomenlinna ferry will not operate a more frequent summer service. Trains do not stop at the Helsinki Airport train station and buses usually running to the airport terminate in Aviapolis. Current timetables are available in the Journey Planner.

Latest changes

Passenger numbers on the Suomenlinna ferry will be limited. For more information, read our release.

The Metro will run more frequently at peak times from 18 May 2020. For more information, read our release.

Trains and buses resume serving Helsinki Airport on 14 May. For more informatin, read our release.

Tickets and refunds

Refund for season tickets. If you have a season ticket which was purchased on or before 16 March 2020 and it is valid on or after 16 April 2020, and you do not need to use public transport, you are entitled to a refund. You must claim the refund by the end of May. For more information, read the release. Instructions for claiming for an HSL card refund.

Season ticket refund for 70+ passengers and those quarantined. If you are over 70 years of age or you have been quarantined, you are entitled to a refund for your season ticket. For more information, read the release.

Season tickets on the HSL card not converted to value. To reduce customer interactions, we do not convert HSL card season tickets to value at our service points. For more information, read the release.

Bus drivers do not sell tickets. To reduce customer interactions, bus drivers are currently not selling tickets. You need to show a valid ticket to the driver when boarding a bus. If you are using an HSL card, you need to shown your season ticket to a card reader or buy a value ticket at the reader. Otherwise, HSL tickets are available as usual.

Changes to customer service

HSL service point at Helsinki Central Railway Station is closed. For more information, read the release.

Tram drivers do not provide customer service. Tram drivers do not provide customer service to reduce contact between the drivers and passengers.

City bikes

City bike season has started in Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa. If you need to travel, cycling is a safer means of travel than public transport during the epidemic. However, remember to practice good hand hygiene and keep a distance from other people. Read more about city bikes.

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My family of three persons mailed three letters of refund application forms and HSL cards to you on April 7. When can we get any information from you?

Me and my girlfriend both have a Season AB ticket auto-renewing subscription. But because of the work from home and recommendation not to use public transport, we are not using it. Sadly there is still no offer to pause or cancel a subscription for free or with a discount in this situation. I hope some kind of solution will be figured out.

The "Season tickets not converted into value from 17 March" chapter makes it sound like there is a general quarantine, which there isn't at the time of my comment, and reads very different from what you wanted to mean by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare quarantaining individuals. Please be careful with how you word things in such times.

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