HSL public transport again ranked top in international benchmarking

Helsinki region came out on top in the European BEST (Benchmarking in European Service of Public Transport) survey for the fifth time running. The survey measures resident satisfaction with local public transport. In 2014, HSL area got the best overall rating in the survey. The other cities included were Bergen, Geneva, Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm.

“Our continuous work to develop our services and cooperation with our member municipalities and the operators have enabled us to maintain the high public transport service level," says the Head of HSL Operational Research Group Antti Vuorela.

The overall satisfaction of HSL area residents has been about 80 percent since 2010 when HSL was established. In 2014, 79 percent of residents were satisfied with public transport in the area. The next most satisfied residents were in Geneva (75%) and Stockholm (74%). The least satisfied residents were found in Copenhagen (54%) and Bergen (51%).

Comparing to the other BEST cities, the HSL area fared particularly well in terms of public transport loyalty (78% satisfied), which measures people’s willingness to recommend the use of public transport to others. In the HSL area, public transport offers better value for money than in the other cities. Nevertheless, satisfaction with the value for money has decreased over the past years. Over the same time period, there have been increases in some ticket prices in the HSL area.

The HSL area received good ratings for almost all factors in the survey. The area’s public transport got below average ratings only for factors relating to staff behavior. To improve satisfaction, HSL has held training sessions for over 8,400 drivers since 2010 with the aim of improving their customer service skills. Satisfaction with driver behavior has improved from 2010 (56% satisfied) to 2014 (62% satisfied).

HSL area residents are increasingly satisfied in particular with the reliability of public transport as well as with the cleanliness and modernity of the fleet. The reliability rating (84% satisfied) indicates how well public transport services keep to their timetables in the customers’ opinion. Milder winter with less snow and modern planning tools have contributed to the improved reliability. The improved reliability may be linked to better availability of information in general as an increasing number of passengers are able to get real-time information about service disruptions via mobile phones. The reliability of public transport has improved in all BEST cities.

The BEST survey is a commensurate survey on the quality of public transport services in the participating cities. In Finland, a total of 1,900 respondents from all HSL’s member municipalities participated in the survey.