HSL area public transport top in Europe

HSL area public transport was again ranked as the best in the European BEST survey.

This year, residents were even more satisfied, for example, with the reliability of services than before.

Helsinki region came out on top in the international BEST survey for the fourth time running. Some 77 per cent of the region’s residents are satisfied with public transport. Behind Helsinki were Geneva with 72% of the respondents being satisfied, Stockholm with 71% and Vienna with 67%. In Oslo, the share of satisfied residents was only 59%, in Copenhagen 53%.

Improved reliability of service

In the HSL area, public transport is deemed much more reliable than in the other BEST cities. In the Helsinki region, 77% of the respondents are satisfied with the reliability, elsewhere on average 54% are satisfied. In the HSL area, residents' trust in public transport clearly increased from the previous year when the figure was 65%.

“The reliability of public transport has improved greatly over the past few years, thanks to improved readiness for severe winter conditions, for example. This is reflected also in the results of HSL’s recent customer satisfaction survey, which show that passenger satisfaction with the reliability of commuter and tram services has improved in particular," says the Head of Operational Research Antti Vuorela.

Public transport supply is deemed better in the HSL area (72% satisfied) than in the other cities (on average 66% satisfied). Satisfaction with the supply has been increasing over recent years. 

In the Helsinki region, most residents also feel they get value for their money (53% satisfied, elsewhere on average 35%), and ticket prices are considered to be reasonable more often than elsewhere. 

Safe, comfortable and easy

The sense of safety on public transport is about at the same level in the HSL area and the other cities. The share of residents satisfied with safety has been increasing over the past years. In Helsinki, also satisfaction with travel comfort is around the average of the BEST cities.

Information at stops and in cases of disturbance are criticized more in the HSL area than elsewhere, whereas residents are more satisfied with information available when planning a journey. This is mainly due to the Journey Planner which has retained its popularity for several years already.

The Helsinki region is below the average of the BEST cities in staff performance in terms of their ability to provide advice for passengers. However, satisfaction with staff behavior has been improving since 2008, when systematic customer service training for drivers was started.  

Lessons from competitors

The annual BEST survey measures how satisfied residents are with public transport services. The survey also provides information about what to improve to increase the use of public transport. The comparability of the results is ensured by conducting the telephone interviews simultaneously and using the same questions in all cities.

Helsinki has participated in the BEST survey (Benchmarking European Service of Public Transport) since 2000, and the survey has been conducted in all HSL’s member municipalities since 2010. HSL had the chair of BEST survey in 2011-2012. In 2013, six cities participated in the survey: Helsinki, Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm, Geneva and Vienna.

In the Helsinki region, a total of 1,700 residents were interviewed.