HSL’s fare revenue in 2023 close to the 2019 level

In 2023, HSL’s fare revenue totaled approximately EUR 376.4 million, which is only 1.7 percent lower than before the Covid-19 pandemic in 2019. However, passengers numbers were 13 percent below the 2019 level. In 2023, boardings on HSL public transport totaled 344 million.

This information is included in HSL’s financial statements approved by the HSL Executive Board on Tuesday 19 March 2024.

Fare revenue fell slightly short of the budget

HSL’s fare revenue (EUR 376.4 million) fell EUR 4.6 million (1.2 percent) short of the budget in 2023. Passenger numbers were 13 percent lower than in 2019, while the budget estimate was 12 percent.

As expected, the fare revenue from ABCD tickets increased. The revenue for ABCD tickets, whose price decreased at the start of 2023, amounted to EUR 17.4 million, exceeding the budget by 24.4 percent. This was not enough to offset the poorer sales of AB tickets. The fare revenue from AB tickets (EUR 252.7 million) fell EUR 10.4 million (3.9 percent) short of the budget.

The share of mobile tickets of all tickets continued to grow. In 2023, it increased to 65 percent from 61 percent in 2022.

The expenses that cannot be covered by fare revenue or other income are covered by municipal contributions paid by HSL’s member municipalities. In 2023, the municipalities covered 52.7 percent of the total costs, with the goal being 50–55 percent. Municipal contributions amounted to EUR 466,3 million, in line with the amended budget.

In 2023, a total of 344 million boardings were made on HSL’s public transport. This fell 18 million boardings short of the intermediate goal set out in our strategy.

Lower-than-expected operating costs resulted in a surplus

HSL’s operating expenses totaled EUR 830,1 million (EUR 42.4 million below the amended budget). Operating costs of services were the largest item in the operating expenses (EUR 558.9 million or 67.3 percent of the operating expenses). The operating costs fell below the budget, among other things, due to lower than anticipated energy prices and due to that preparations were in place for light rail services to launch earlier than in October 2023.

Thanks to, among other things, the lower than anticipated operating costs, HSL ran a surplus of EUR 30 million, while the amended budget provided for a deficit of EUR 19.5 million. The Executive Board proposes to the General Assembly that the surplus be transferred to the deficit/surplus account for the previous years.

Our goal is to increase passenger numbers by providing more attractive ticket options

People’s travel habits have permanently changed following the Covid-19 pandemic, for example, due to increased remote working. Therefore, we strive to provide even more attractive and flexible ticket options. For example, 10 and 20 journey tickets were added to our permanent ticket range at the beginning of 2024.

Moreover, our future is guided by responsibility work: our Responsibility Program was finalized in summer 2023 and we will report on our progress annually.

In autumn 2023, we strengthened our cooperation with stakeholders on accessibility and inclusion. The CO2 emissions from the operation of public transport services have decreased by 63 percent, fine particle emissions by 95 percent and nitrogen oxides by 97 percent  from 2010. About one third of our buses are electric.