New light rail line opened in a festive atmosphere
The first light rail in the Helsinki region is now in operation. The first tram departed from the Aalto University stop in Otaniemi, Espoo towards Itäkeskus at 9.20am. Before the departure of the first tram, the new line was inaugurated with a festive ceremony.
“HSL is building a more sustainable future for its customers and the entire metropolitan area, as the emission-free future of our societies is created in cities. When building the cities of the future for residents and businesses, we are also building conditions for increased use of sustainable modes of transport. There are no well-functioning cities without public transport. It is great that the light rail line 15 was completed ahead of schedule. I would like to thank all those involved in the project for their effective cooperation,” says Mikä Nykänen, Executive Director of HSL.
Juha Hakavuori, Managing Director at Metropoliran Area Transport Ltd, also praised the smooth cooperation: “The long project culminated with the start of passenger services today. A warm thank you to the Jokeri Light Rail Alliance, HSL, Skoda and other partners. Special thanks to the staff of Metropolitan Area Transport Ltd who have worked for a long time to get here.”
The first vehicle was full upon departure, and there were a lot of people around the stop to send off the first light rail vehicle. The first services from the termini in Itäkeskus and Keilaniemi departed at 9.30am. There were plenty of passengers also on these trams.
Before the departure of the first services, the new light rail line was officially inaugurated with a ribbon cutting ceremony by Prime Minister Petteri Orpo, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Kai Mykkänen, HSL Executive Director Mika Nykänen, Mayor of Espoo Jukka Mäkelä, Deputy Mayor for Urban Environment of the City of Helsinki Anni Sinnemäki and Managing Director of Metropolitan Area Transport Ltd Juha Hakavuori.
On the opening day, the light rail will be running to the normal timetables late into the night. The timetables of the light rail line are available in HSL’s Journey Planner.