Helsinki region public transport the best in Europe

HSL area came out on top in the international BEST survey for
the third year running. The survey measures how satisfied residents
are with public transport services in their city.

In the Helsinki region, 81 percent of the respondents were
satisfied with the region’s public transport services, which is
three percent more than the previous year. Stockholm (77 percent)
came out second best, while Oslo and Vienna (72 percent) shared the
third place. In Geneva, 60 percent of the residents are satisfied
with public transport, while in Copenhagen, which came last this
year, the share of satisfied residents is 56 percent.  

The survey measures how satisfied residents are with the
following aspects of public transport: overall satisfaction;
service supply; reliability; information; staff; safety; comfort;
value for money; social significance; and loyalty to public
transport. In the Helsinki region, the residents’ satisfaction with
public transport improved in almost all aspects, and there was no
deterioration in any aspect.

HSL area has the best supply and affordable fares

Public transport supply is deemed better in the Helsinki region
than in the other BEST cities with 73 percent of the residents
being satisfied with the supply; in the other cities the figure
averages 62 percent. The one-purchaser model has made planning
easier, and public transport services across municipal boundaries
work better now.

Satisfaction with the reliability of public transport is
higher in the Helsinki region than in the other Nordic BEST cities.
The satisfaction returned to its customary level (65
percent satisfied) after the drop caused by the challenging winter
conditions of the past two years.

Helsinki region public transport is estimated to provide the
best value for money (58 percent satisfied, elsewhere on average 33
percent), and public transport fares are considered reasonable more
often than in the other cities. In this respect, residents’
satisfaction has clearly increased for several years in a row.

People are also increasingly satisfied with the ease of
planning their journeys. Satisfaction with the planning of journeys
is clearly higher in the Helsinki region than in the other BEST
cities, which is primarily due to the popular Journey Planner. The
online Journey Planner has been in use in the Helsinki region for a
longer time than similar services in the other cities.

Improved sense of safety

With regard to safety, Helsinki region is somewhere in the
middle in comparison with the other BEST cities. Satisfaction with
safety both at stations and onboard has improved in comparison to
the previous year. Also, satisfaction with travel comfort has
increased from the previous year.

However, Helsinki is below the average with regard to
satisfaction with information provided at stops and stations, and
the staff’s ability to provide advice is estimated to be poorer in
the Helsinki region than in the other BEST cities.

Helsinki has participated in the survey since 2000

The aim of the BEST survey is to measure how satisfied residents
are with public transport in their area to obtain information about
how the use of public transport could be increased. The annual
process includes a survey conducted in March to identify the
strengths and weaknesses of public transport services in the
participating cities. The comparability of the results is ensured
by conducting the telephone interviews simultaneously and using the
same question in all cities.

Helsinki has participated in the international BEST
(Benchmarking European Service of public Transport) survey since
2000. In 2012, a total of six cities participated in the survey:
Helsinki, Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm, Geneva and Vienna. In
addition, Gothenburg joined the BEST network this year. HSL has the
Chair of the BEST survey in 2011-2012.