Helsinki region residents support investments in public transport

According to the Regional Barometer 2021, the region’s residents value living close to nature, local services and the development of public transport and cycling. More than half of the respondents hoped to see more investments in public transport.

The Regional Barometer of Land Use, Housing and Transport 2021 shows that public transport is important for the comfort of the region’s residents. The barometer sought the views and opinions of the residents of the 15 municipalities in the Helsinki region on housing and transport and their development.

The most important factors that make a neighborhood a desirable place to live are having nature nearby, local services at a walking distance and having a public transport stop or station nearby. Lack of services, unrest and safety concerns, poor public transport links and traffic noise make a neighborhood less attractive to live in.

The barometer asked respondents whether their municipalities should invest more or less in different modes of transport. Of all the respondents, 54 per cent hoped to see more investments in public transport, 49 per cent in cycling, 41 per cent in walking and 21 per cent in car traffic.

The share of people supporting more investments in public transport has decreased from the previous barometers conducted in 2017 and 2018. On the other hand, the willingness to invest in car traffic has also decreased. Opinions on investments in cycling and walking remain broadly unchanged.

Half of the respondents wanted to mitigate the increase in car traffic. A total of 17 per cent of respondents supported the introduction of road charges while 58 per cent were opposed. These figures remained unchanged from the previous barometers.

Remote work appeals to many

The barometer asked people about their use of different modes of transport before the coronavirus pandemic and at present. Walking and driving were the most popular modes of transport both before the pandemic and at present.

The use of public transport has clearly decreased, while there were only minor changes in the use of other modes of transport. One fifth of the respondents believed their travel habits will change permanently. One fifth of the respondents said their housing needs or desires had changed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The respondents want to work remotely substantially more after the pandemic than before it, but less than they currently do. After the pandemic, many respondents would like to work remotely two or three days a week.

However, for about half of Helsinki region residents aged 15 and over, remote work is not an option. The respondents are either not employed, their work cannot be done remotely, or they do not want to work remotely.

We conducted the Regional Barometer as part of the development of the Helsinki Region Land Use, Housing and Transport Plan (MAL). The barometer was conducted by mail and online between 11 January and 16 March 2021.

The survey covered Espoo, Helsinki, Hyvinkää, Järvenpää, Kauniainen, Kerava, Kirkkonummi, Mäntsälä, Nurmijärvi, Pornainen, Sipoo, Siuntio, Tuusula, Vantaa and Vihti. A random sample of 11,500 residents aged 15 and over was drawn from the population register. A total of 3,690 people completed to the survey. The survey was conducted by Taloustutkimus Oy.

Results report (in Finnish)