HSL’s first light rail line to operate under route number 15
A decision has been made regarding the route number of the first light rail line in the Helsinki region. The new light rail line that is currently being constructed by the Jokeri Light Rail alliance will operate under route number 15.
It was our goal to provide the light rail line with a route number that is easily understood and that would describe the service that it provides as clearly as possible. The idea was also to highlight the role of the light rail line as part of the transportation network in the area. During its construction phase, the new tram line has been known as the Jokeri Light Rail. However, the name is not suitable to be used as the official route number. In addition, the tram line has also gone by the name of light rail line 550 in previous work phases, in accordance with the current trunk bus route.
New numbers for new tram lines
The construction of new inner-city tram lines and light rail lines brings about a need to update the current route number system in the Helsinki region. The current tram services operate under route numbers 1–10. Correspondingly, the new light rail lines will operate under route numbers 11–19, which will form a logical continuum to the current tram route numbers.
The five in the number 15 that will be used to refer to the new light rail line highlights the fact that the line provides crosstown services. The number five is also used in bus services in reference to crosstown services, such as the current trunk bus route 550.
However, 550 will not be used to refer to the new light rail line because the number is already heavily associated with bus services. In addition, route number 550 would be highly similar to the numbers used by other future bus routes.
We also considered the possibility of adding prefix P to the route numbers of the light rail lines to differentiate between the light rail lines and the inner-city tram lines, but this idea was abandoned. Even though the light rail lines are different from the current inner-city trams in terms of their coloring and the service they provide, they will nonetheless use the same sections of line in central Helsinki and provide overlapping services with the current trams.
Detailed information on the numbers used for all the other future tram lines will be made public later.
The new light rail line will run between Itäkeskus and Keilaniemi
The light rail line 15 will run on a circular route between Itäkeskus in Helsinki and Keilaniemi in Espoo. As a result, the line will extend tram services to entirely new areas, such as Viikki and Maunula. Moreover, in addition to its termini, the new line will enable passengers to connect with other rail transport services in Oulunkylä, Huopalahti and Leppävaara as well as at Aalto University.