HSL to introduce new bus route 554 for Ring I in August

Route 554 is a new bus route that will begin serving Ring I in August. The new route will provide passengers with a direct public transport link from Itäkeskus to Westend. A fast crosstown bus route was among the most popular wishes that customers expressed in the surveys that HSL conducted a few years ago with the purpose of identifying how public transport services on Ring I could be developed.

On 12 August, we will launch a new crosstown bus route 554 that serves Ring I. The new service will run via Itäkeskus, Ring I, Lassila, Pitäjänmäki station, Leppävaara, Tapiola and Westend station.

The new bus route will serve the entire Ring I from one end to the other. The current bus route network has no direct bus services between East Helsinki and Leppävaara and Tapiola. The new route will operate Monday through Friday approximately between 5am and 11pm and on Sundays from approximately 6am to 11pm.

“Bus route 554 will provide services to a large number of customers, as there are a total of 100,000 residents in Helsinki and Espoo who live within a walking distance from a bus stop on Ring I,” says Miska Peura, Market Area Manager at HSL.

“The route will connect district centers in Helsinki and Espoo, the stations along the train line and other key transport nodes. Passengers as far as from Kerava, Kirkkonummi and Siuntio will be able to transfer from train services to bus 554. In addition, the route of the new service intersects with ten trunk bus routes.”

There will be changes to the current bus routes serving Ring I when bus route 554 begins operating. The new bus route will replace bus route 523 from Westend station to Leppävaara entirely as well as the K services on bus route 553 that operate in the evening and on weekends.

Moreover, the service supply on bus route 54 will somewhat decrease due to the fact that bus route 554 will increase the service supply on the busiest section of route between Itäkeskus and Kaupintie.

Understanding through customer surveys

HSL planned the changes to bus services on Ring I in dialogue with its customers. In the fall of 2022, HSL conducted surveys in relation to the review of Ring I bus routes. A direct bus route serving the entire Ring I was a popular wish among customers. Customers wished also that the service supply on public transport be increased especially in the evening and on weekends.

“Bus route 554 supports HSL’s goal of increasing the number of passengers on public transport while simultaneously producing services in a cost-effective manner,” says Miska Peura.

“We have earmarked an additional funding of six million euros for the improvement of public transport services in 2024. We will allocate this funding to the areas and routes that, according to our research, have the largest potential of increasing passenger numbers. In this regard, developing public transport services on Ring I was one of the key areas.

A map displaying the changes to bus routes on Ring I from 12 August (in Finnish).