Transport system planning

What is transport system planning?

The transport system covers mobility as a whole: the entire mobility environment with its various modes of transport (walking, cycling, public transport, cars and freight traffic). Instead of focusing on individual projects, transport system planning considers the whole picture and the impacts of different combinations of measures on mobility and trends in transport.

A well-functioning transport system ensures seamless and diverse mobility options as well as good transport links for business and industry. The development of the Helsinki region transport system improves the competitiveness and wellbeing of the growing metropolitan area and helps to create a more coherent urban structure.  

Transport system planning is long-term planning. For example, the Helsinki Region Transport System Plan HLJ 2011 outlines the future transport system plan up to 2050. Transport system planning creates the framework; details are decided in conjunction with other plans and the implementation.

The preparation of the Helsinki Region Transport System Plan is based on the Act on Cooperation Between Municipalities in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area in Waste Management and Public Transport (829/2009). According to the Act, the municipalities in the metropolitan area collaborate on the transport system and public transport planning.

According to the Regional Development Act, transport system planning is at the responsibility of Regional Councils, with the exception of Helsinki region where the task is assigned to HSL.

The transport system plan takes a stand on regional transport policy and aims to influence mobility options; the competitiveness of walking, cycling and public transport can be improved and the integration of transport and land use deepened by developing the urban structure, transport network and services. As the Helsinki region is the hub of national and international transport links, the performance of the region’s transport system is important for the country as a whole. 

The transport system plan  HLJ 2011 was the first plan to cover all 14 municipalities in the Helsinki region. The preparation of the next the Helsinki Region Transport System Plan HLJ 2015 was closely linked to the Helsinki Region Land Use, Housing and Transport cooperation (MAL) and regional land use planning.

Helsinki region land use plan


Traffic surveys and forecasts

Traffic surveys and traffic forecast models are important tools in transport system planning.

The surveys provide extensive observation data used to produce basic key figures for the movement of people and goods. The key figures include, for example, total numbers of journeys and goods deliveries as well as the modal shares of the different modes of transport in the region.

The data is also used for traffic forecast models. The models are needed to assess the impacts of land use and transport system development on traffic, for example, to predict changes in traffic volumes and their impacts in different points of the transport network.

The 2007-2008 traffic survey on passenger transport is updated in the 14 Helsinki region municipalities, and representative data is collected on goods transport. The most geographically central parts of the traffic forecast models are updated on the basis of the new data.

The series of surveys consists of the following sub-studies:

  • Traffic Survey: the survey studies residents’ travel patterns
  • HLJ barometer: the survey seeks residents’ views on the transport system development goals and measures
  • Delivery traffic survey: the study examines delivery traffic characteristics and the performance of the transport system from the point of view of delivery traffic
  • Logistics area study: the study seeks to establish freight traffic volumes, composition and distribution in the key logistics areas and ports in the region.

The reports, abstracts, descriptions of file and other documents related to the studies are available in the Publications section.

Accessibility studies (SAVU)

The accessibility studies describe regional accessibility by public transport, walking and cycling. The studies allow us to identify the best land use development areas in terms of sustainable modes of transport.