HSL’s new strategy: public transport of the future is intelligent, sustainable and safe

The Executive Board of HSL approved HSL’s new vision 2025 on 11 February. The new vision is: “Public transport is the number one choice for travel and Helsinki region is a bellwether for intelligent, sustainable and safe mobility”.The vision emphasizes the key role of HSL in promoting sustainable modes of transport and a functional urban environment.

"I’m extremely satisfied with HSL’s new strategy. Our goal is to increase the modal share of public transport by several percentage points by 2025. This challenges us to find new solutions for our customers' needs. There are major changes taking place in the coming years, such as the opening of the Ring Rail Line and West Metro, changes to the payment system, tendering of rail services as well as our new customer program. The objective of all of the future changes is to improve our customers’ service experience so that public transport would be the number one choice for travel now and in the future," says Suvi Rihtniemi, HSL's Executive Director.

“From the outset, we developed the strategy in partnership with our stakeholders, customers, decision-makers and staff,” tells Tero Anttila, the Director of Public Transport Planning Department, who was responsible for the project. In addition to the active participation of the so called strategy ambassadors selected from each department and strategy workshops held with different staff groups, information about the state of the process was openly available in HSL’s intranet. HSL’s recently revised values, customer focus, cooperation, continuous development and environmental responsibility, formed the basis of the development of the strategy.

A staff survey was conducted on the theme “What will the ideal public transport be like in 2025?”. In October/November, a similar survey was conducted for customers at hsl.fi. The new strategy emphasizes the importance of taking into account the entire travel chain and development of services together with customers. Nearly 1,000 customers responded to the survey. Customers wished for a stronger trunk route network, crosstown routes, frequent service, low fares and safe public transport. These themes are at the core of the new strategy.

In addition to the vision and basic task, HSL established six strategic objectives:

1. The customers’ travel chain is based on public transport trunk route network and efficient feeder links.
2. We provide our customers with up-to-date information before and during their journeys as well as with clear, easy-to-use and reasonably priced tickets.
3. The transport system based on rail services creates a more compact urban structure and makes the region more attractive.
4. We direct the increase in traffic to public transport, walking and cycling.
5. We increase the share of low-emission public transport.
6. We make public transport more cost-effective and strengthen the funding base of the entire transport system.  

In our new strategy, we put a lot of effort on trunk route development, as we know that a strong trunk route network makes public transport more attractive and easier to use. The share of low-emission transport will be further increased. Our new indicators focus, in particular, on monitoring the energy efficiency and emissions of bus transport. Our key goal is to increase the modal share of sustainable modes of transport more than that of driving.

“In order to achieve this, a lot of effort is needed as well as cooperation between all actors in the field," says Tero Anttila.  

HSL also created its first personnel strategy. The personnel strategy vision is: "We are excited and committed to cooperation and development. In our work, we are customer and solution-oriented.”

The Executive Board approved the strategies on 11 February. The strategic plan approved by the Board will form the basis for the operational and financial plan 2015-2017. HSL’s strategy will be finally approved by the General Meeting in autumn 2014. HSL’s values were approved by the previous Executive Board in 2012. The values are customer focus, cooperation, continuous development and environmental responsibility.