Conditions of Carriage

HSL Conditions of Carriage

Helsinki Region Transport’s (HSL) Conditions of Carriage apply to public transport journeys and services provided by HSL. It is the responsibility of customers using HSL’s services to read and comply with these conditions.

These Conditions of Carriage will take effect from 1 January 2020 and they supersede all previous Conditions of Carriage. Conditions of Carriage are available at service points, R-kiosks and other sales points selling HSL cards, as well as online at hsl.fi. HSL reserves the right to amend these Conditions of Carriage. Printed Conditions of Carriage are updated once a year. Up-to-date Conditions of Carriage are available at hsl.fi.

1 HSL public transport

HSL’s operating area consists of its nine member municipalities: Helsinki, Espoo, Kauniainen, Vantaa, Kerava, Sipoo, Tuusula, Kirkkonummi and Siuntio. The area formed by the municipalities is divided into four zones, identified by the letters A to D, spreading out from the center of Helsinki.
 
Buy a ticket for all the zones you travel through. In zones A, B and C, you must always buy a ticket for at least two zones (an AB or BC ticket), as there are no one-zone tickets for zones A, B and C. 

HSL tickets are valid on all buses, commuter trains, the metro, trams and on the Suomenlinna ferry. U-line buses serving areas outside the HSL area complement HSL’s services. U-line buses are bus services whose routes extend to outside the HSL area. U-line buses have U signs on the front. HSL tickets are accepted on U-line buses on journeys within the HSL area.

In addition, there are some 4,400 city bikes available around Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa. Customers with a valid HSL ticket are entitled to use Park & Ride.

HSL public transport tickets are sold

  • at various sales points such as kiosks, shops, hotels and information desks on passenger ferries
  • at ticket machines
  • on the HSL app
  • on buses
  • at service points

Sales points may charge a service fee for selling tickets. Service points and ticket machines do not charge a service fee.

Online top up of HSL cards will be introduced in 2020. Season tickets or value purchased online will be transferred onto your HSL card when you show your card to a card reader onboard a vehicle, at a metro station or on the Suomenlinna ferry pier for the first time after the purchase. As season tickets and value purchased online cannot be transferred to HSL cards on U-line buses, you cannot make your first journey after the purchase on a U-line bus. 

In addition, tickets are available via, for example, MaaS service providers who provide public transport travel rights as part of their services.

Tickets are not sold on commuter trains, the metro, trams or on the Suomenlinna ferry. 

To find your closest ticket sales point, see the sales point search at hsl.fi.

Season, zone extension, day, value and single tickets:

  • You can load a season ticket on the HSL app or on your HSL card.
  • You can buy zone extension tickets to add to your season ticket.
  • On the HSL app, you can also buy single and day tickets. 
  • With value (money) loaded on your HSL card, you can buy value tickets for individual journeys. 
  • There are two types of single and day tickets: tickets loaded on disposable cardboard cards which become valid when you show the card to a card reader for the first time, and printed paper tickets which are valid immediately. 

There are two types of HSL cards

  • A personal HSL card can only be used by the owner of the card and it cannot be given to another person for use. The customer group stored on the card and the home municipality together determine what kind of season and value tickets can be bought on the card.
  • A multi-user HSL card can be used by anyone holding the card who belongs to the customer group stored on the card (adult or child).
  • Multi-user cards cannot be converted into personal cards or vice versa.

Buying season, single and day tickets using the HSL app

  • Your customer group and home municipality determine what kind of tickets you can buy using the HSL app.
  • You can download the free app on your Android or iPhone device from the app store.
  • You cannot transfer any tickets purchased using the HSL app to another person’s phone. 
  • When you travel with your friends, spouse or children, you can buy single or day tickets for them on your phone. 

2 Tickets and buying tickets

2.1 Single and value tickets

Single and value tickets are valid for 80–110 minutes, depending on the zone/zones: 

  • AB, BC and D tickets 80 minutes
  • ABC and CD tickets 90 minutes
  • BCD tickets 100 minutes
  • ABCD tickets 110 minutes

Tickets purchased from a ticket machine are valid 10 minutes longer. 

  • You can buy value tickets with your HSL card at card readers. You must have enough value balance to cover the ticket price. You can top up your card at some ticket machines, as well as at sales and service points. In addition, you can top up your card online via the HSL card service (kortti.hsl.fi, online top up of cards will be introduced in 2020). Value purchased online will be downloaded on your HSL card when you next show your card to a card reader after the purchase.
  • Single tickets are available using the HSL app. You can set the ticket validity to start immediately or within 24 hours from the moment of purchase.
  • Paper single tickets are available from ticket machines and bus drivers. These tickets are valid from the moment of purchase.
  • Advance purchase single tickets loaded on disposable cardboard cards are available from service points and many kiosks and shops. These tickets are valid from the time you show them to a card reader for the first time. The tickets must be used within two years from the moment of purchase.

2.2 Zone extension tickets

  • If you have a valid season ticket on your HSL card or on the HSL app, you can expand your travel area by buying zone extension tickets. The tickets are valid for 80–110 minutes depending on which zones the extension ticket and your season ticket together cover.
  • You can pay for the ticket either using your HSL card or the HSL app, depending on how you have purchased your season ticket. 
  • When buying a ticket using the HSL app, you can set the ticket validity to start immediately or within 24 hours from the moment of purchase.

2.3 Day tickets

  • Day tickets are valid for 1–7 days. 
  • You can buy day tickets for all zones using the HSL app. You can set the ticket validity to start immediately or within 24 hours from the moment of purchase. 
  • Advance purchase day tickets loaded on disposable cardboard cards are valid from the time you show them to a card reader for the first time. You can buy these tickets for all zones for 1–7 days. The tickets are available from service points, kiosks and shops selling HSL tickets, as well as from some ticket machines. The tickets must be used within two years from the moment of purchase.  
  • Paper tickets purchased from a ticket machine or from a bus driver are valid from the moment of purchase. Bus drivers and some single ticket machines only sell one-day AB and ABC tickets.
  • Helsinki Cards are contactless cards including AB or ABC tickets for 1, 2 or 3 days. These tickets are valid from the time you show the card to a card reader for the first time.

2.4 Season tickets

You can buy season tickets on your HSL card.

  • The tickets are valid for a period of between 14 days and one year. You can set the ticket validity to start within 60 days from the moment of purchase. You can also load another season ticket valid for a maximum of one year on your HSL card. You can set the validity of the second ticket to start within 60 days of the expiry of the first season ticket.
  • You can buy season tickets on your HSL card via the HSL card service (kortti.hsl.fi, online top up of cards will be introduced in 2020). Tickets purchased online will be downloaded on your HSL card when you next show your card to a card reader after the purchase.
  • You can also buy season tickets on your HSL card at service points, kiosks and shops selling HSL tickets, as well as at some ticket machines.

On the HSL app, you can buy season tickets as a one-off purchase or you can set up an auto-renewing subscription or an auto-renewing saver subscription.

  • If you choose a one-off purchase, you can buy a ticket for 30 days. Adult season tickets for 60, 90 and 360 days will become available in 2020.
  • An auto-renewing subscription runs until further notice, and the ticket is automatically charged to your payment card every 30 days.
  • An auto-renewing saver subscription is the most economical option if you let the subscription run for at least 360 days. The ticket is charged to your payment card every 30 days. If you cancel your subscription before the 12th payment, you must pay a cancellation fee.
  • You can set the ticket validity to start within 60 days from the moment of purchase.

The back-end systems of the HSL card and the HSL app are not interconnected. This means that you cannot, for example, use tickets or value balance loaded on your HSL card on the HSL app. Nor can you use the HSL app to buy zone extension tickets to a season ticket on your HSL card.

2.5 Payment methods

  • Single and day tickets purchased using the HSL app are charged to your phone bill or to the payment card you have linked to the service. Season tickets are charged to your payment card.
  • Value tickets are paid for with value (money) loaded on the HSL card. The ticket is stored on your HSL card when you select a ticket at a card reader and show your card to the reader. You can top up your card at many ticket machines, sales and service points as well online via the HSL card service (kortti.hsl.fi, the online top up of cards will be introduced in 2020).
  • When you buy tickets or top up your HSL card at a sales or service point, you can pay for your purchase by cash or debit card. Most places also accept credit cards as well as HSL commuter vouchers and HSL gift cards. Sales points may charge a service fee for selling tickets. Service points do not charge a service fee.
  • HSL ticket machines accept payment cards , some ticket machines also accept coins. Some ticket machines accept bank notes. In addition, you can use the value balance on your HSL card to pay for single tickets.
  • Bus drivers only accept cash. Please have small change to pay for your fare as drivers do not have to accept notes larger than 20 euros. In addition, you can buy tickets for other people traveling with you using value loaded on your HSL card. 
  • In the HSL card service (hsl.kortti.fi), you can pay by payment card. Other payment methods such as MobilePay and online banking will be introduced in the service later.  
  • The payment methods for tickets purchased via operators providing public transport travel rights as part of their services, e.g. MaaS service providers, are described in the terms of service of each of the operators. 

3 Using tickets

3.1 Right to travel

  • All tickets allow you unlimited travel within their period of validity and the applicable zone. You can travel on all HSL modes of transport: buses, commuter trains, the metro, trams and on the Suomenlinna ferry.
  • Value, single, day and zone extension tickets allow you to transfer between modes of transport within their validity. Your ticket can expire during your last journey. 

3.2 Using tickets onboard

It is your responsibility to find out which ticket you need for your journey. Your ticket must be valid in all the zones you travel through. A zone extension ticket and your season ticket must together cover the entire travel area. 

  • When paying your fare with value on your HSL card, you must buy your ticket at a card reader immediately after boarding a bus, tram or train. When traveling on the metro, you must buy your ticket before entering the metro payment area, i.e. before passing the card readers. When traveling on the Suomenlinna ferry, buy your ticket before entering the ferry pier.
  • When using the HSL app or an app of an operator providing tickets such as a MaaS service provider’s app, you must have a valid ticket on your phone before you board a bus, tram or train. When traveling on the metro, the ticket must be on your phone before you enter the payment area after passing the card readers. When traveling on the Suomenlinna ferry, the ticket must be on your phone before you enter the Suomenlinna ferry pier. 
  • When using an advance purchase single or day ticket loaded on a disposable cardboard card, you must activate the ticket at the beginning of your first journey: show the card to a card reader immediately after boarding a bus, tram or train. When traveling on the metro, show the card to a card reader before entering the payment area. When traveling on the Suomenlinna ferry, show the card to a card reader before entering the ferry pier. 
  • At Helsinki Central Railway Station and the Kamppi bus terminal, gate ticket inspection is in place on late weekend nights. In this case, show your ticket, HSL card or HSL app ticket view at the gate. 
  • When boarding a bus, show
    – your HSL card or disposable cardboard card to a card reader
    – your single or day ticket or HSL app ticket view to the bus driver.
  • On commuter trains, the metro and trams, as well as on trunk route buses 500, 510, 550 and 560 you only need to show your ticket in case of a ticket inspection.

If you are traveling from the HSL area to outside the HSL area or vice versa, you must have a ticket that is valid for the entire journey. This means you cannot combine HSL tickets with tickets issued by VR, Matkahuolto or bus operators.

Exception: You can combine a VR season or multi-journey ticket and an HSL ticket for journeys from outside the HSL area to HSL area or vice versa. In addition to the VR ticket, you need an HSL ticket that is valid for the entire journey in the HSL area.

3.3 Customers entitled to travel without a ticket

Customers who are entitled to travel without a ticket:

  • Children under 7 years of age. There are limitations on U-line buses.
  • Passengers traveling with a child aged between 0–6 in a pram, pushchair or wheelchair, excluding U-line buses.
  • Wheelchair users
  • A companion if the accompanied person has a Companion Pass and a valid ticket or right to travel without a ticket
  • Groups of up to 30 pupils from schools in the HSL area if the teacher has a school group pass.

4 Problems with ticket purchase or use

4.1 HSL card or disposable card does not work

  • If your HSL card or disposable card does not work at a card reader, you must try another card reader. If your card is faulty, you must buy a ticket by other means.
  • You can visit a service point to replace your faulty card with a new one. Any value balance and/or season ticket remaining on the faulty HSL card will be transferred on a new card. A disposable card will be replaced with a new one and any remaining days will be loaded on the new card.
  • The direct costs caused by the malfunctioning of your card (i.e. single tickets as well as phone calls and postage) can be refunded to you on a case-by-case basis against receipts. If you cause the fault, the service point will charge a processing fee for the transfer of a season ticket/value as well as a card charge for the new HSL card. Physically damaged disposable cards are not refunded.

4.2 Card reader does not work

  • If a card reader on a bus does not work, ask the bus driver to check the season ticket or value ticket transfer right on your HSL card or to sell you a value ticket.
  • On other modes of transport you must try another card reader. If all card readers are out of order and you cannot buy a ticket without major inconvenience, the penalty fare may not be charged. In such cases, the ticket inspector sells you a ticket.

4.3 Unable to download a ticket on the app

  • If you do not get the ticket you ordered, you must buy a ticket by other means before starting your journey.
  • In the case of a system failure that prevents you from reasonably obtaining a ticket, the penalty fare may be waived. In such cases, the ticket inspector sells you a ticket.

4.4 HSL app and phone problems

  • If you cannot show the ticket display of the HSL app, you must buy a ticket by other means before starting your journey.
  • Your phone must have enough battery life for the duration of the journey. Ticket inspectors may charge a penalty fare if your ticket cannot be checked on your phone.
  • You can transfer a valid season ticket to a new phone.

5 Ticket inspection

Ticket inspectors, security guards assisting them, commuter train conductors and bus drivers have the right to inspect tickets.

  • A penalty fare can be issued to a passenger traveling without an appropriate valid ticket. In addition, the passenger will be charged the price of a single or value ticket.
  • Ticket inspectors, conductors, drivers and other authorized persons have the right to remove passengers traveling without a valid ticket from the train.
  • A personal HSL card can only be used by the owner of the card who must, if asked by an inspector, show proof of their identity.
  • If you use the HSL card in breach of the HSL Conditions of Carriage, the inspector or another person authorized by HSL or VR can take the card away from you.
  • Show the ticket display of the HSL app or of an app of an operator supplying tickets, e.g. a MaaS service provider’s app, to a ticket inspector first. Then press the “Ticket inspection” button at the bottom of the ticket. The app will go to the inspector mode which allows the inspector to read the QR code using their device.
  • If you are traveling on a child ticket, you must show proof of your identity if asked. If you do not have an ID document with you, ticket inspectors will verify your personal data from the population information system. For this reason, you need to write your ID number, name and address in the personal data form.

6  Lost HSL card

  • You can report your lost personal HSL card and the card can be cancelled. You do not need to know the card number. You only need to tell your ID number.
  • Multi-user HSL cards can be reported and cancelled only if the card is tied to an ID number or a company’s business ID. If your company has several cards, you will also need to report the card number.
  • You can cancel your HSL card by calling (09) 4766 4000, visiting a service point or in the HSL card service (kortti.hsl.fi).
  • A cancelled HSL card cannot be used for travel, or topped up with a season ticket or value; nor can it be reactivated. The card charge is not refunded.
  • Any season ticket and/or value balance left on a cancelled HSL card can be transferred to a new card at a service point. Any remaining season ticket will be transferred to a new card from the day on which you come to the service point to take care of the matter. A processing fee is charged for the transfer, and a card charge for the new card.
  • A lost and found HSL card is kept at a service point for three months, after which the card is deactivated. HSL will not refund a season ticket or value balance remaining on a deactivated card to the customer.

7 Ticket and loading information

7.1 HSL card ticket and loading information

  • At a service point, you can ask for information about the tickets and value balance loaded on your HSL card, as well as about any value transactions. 
  • You can get the information for your personal card for approximately the last two years. You must present an official ID document (an official ID card, passport, driver’s license, Kela card with photograph). You do not need to have your HSL card with you.
  • The information on a multi-user card is given to any person holding the card. You must have the HSL card with you if no ID number or a company’s business ID has been linked to the card.
  • In the online HSL card service (kortti.hsl.fi), you can check the validity period of your season ticket as well as the value balance on your card. 
  • You can also check the validity of your season ticket and the value balance on your HSL card at card readers on public transport vehicles and at metro stations by holding your card on the reader. The card reader shows the ticket you purchased, as well as the value balance and any season ticket on your card.

7.2 HSL app ticket and loading information

  • To view a list of the tickets you have purchased click the “Purchase history” link on the “Your tickets” tab on the HSL app. You can also download receipts for your tickets.

8 Lifetime of the HSL card 

  • HSL cards can be used until HSL replaces the cards with new ones.
  • Your right to a refund of the value balance on the card will expire and your customer data will be removed from HSL’s customer register three years from the last top-up or value transaction, or from the expiry of your last season ticket. HSL will try to contact you before your data is removed. It is your responsibility to keep your contact details up to date. 

9 Ticket refunds

9.1 Ensure you have the correct ticket

You must have a valid ticket accepted by HSL that covers the entire journey. When you top up your HSL card or buy a disposable card at a sales or service point or at a ticket machine, you must check the details of the ticket loaded on the card on the receipt.

The purchase of tickets at card readers and ticket machines or using the HSL app is your responsibility, and we do not refund individual single, value, zone extension or day tickets purchased by mistake.

9.2 Refunds, problem solving and claims

  • Enquiries, refunds and claims relating to HSL cards are dealt with at HSL and municipal service points.
  • Issues related to the HSL app are only dealt with at HSL service points.
  • You need to show proof of identity when visiting a service point. 
  • Problems related to and refunds on tickets purchased via an operator supplying tickets, e.g. a MaaS service provider, are solved by the operator.
  • You must claim your refund within two months from the date when the ground for it arose.
  • Tickets purchased by mistake using the HSL app can be refunded within two days of the purchase.
  • You can get refund for season tickets or value balance loaded on a personal HSL card or on a multi-user HSL card containing your personal data, as well as for season tickets loaded on the HSL app.
  • Any refunds are paid in compliance with the provisions on consumer protection.

9.3 Season ticket and value refunds

  • A season ticket remaining on your HSL card can be cancelled and loaded on your card as value. A processing fee is charged. You can use the value balance on your card to purchase value tickets or pay for a new season ticket, for example, if you want to change the validity area of your season ticket.
  • If your new place of residence, work or study is located outside the HSL area, any season ticket remaining on the HSL app or on your HSL card or the value balance on your HSL card can be refunded to you. You must submit a statement of the reason for refund, such as a notification of move or a certificate from your educational institution or employer at a service point. 
  • If your new place of residence, work or study is located within the HSL area and your valid season ticket does not cover your new travel area, the season ticket remaining on the HSL app can be refunded to you from the date your place of residence, work or study changed. You can then buy a ticket that suits you. You must submit a statement of the reason for refund at a service point. A season ticket loaded on your HSL card can also be refunded (point 1 on the list). 
  • If you have bought the wrong season ticket using the HSL app, i.e. the travel zone or validity period of the ticket is wrong, you can cancel the ticket within two days from the start date or within two weeks from the purchase if you have purchased a 60, 90 or 360-day ticket as a one-off purchase. In the case of a season ticket whose validity period is wrong, a refund is made only if the ticket is not yet valid.
  • If you switch your customer group from adult to student and you have a valid 60, 90 or 360-day adult season ticket purchased as a one-off purchase, the remaining season ticket can be refunded from the day your customer group changes.
  • If you have set up an auto-renewing subscription or an auto-renewing saver subscription on the HSL app, you can change the ticket’s travel zone on the app before the new 30-day period is charged to your card.

Refunds on HSL card tickets are available at all service points; refunds on tickets purchased using the HSL app are only available at HSL service points. All refunds are paid according to the tariff valid at the moment of purchase and from the date you visit a service point. A processing fee is charged for refunds and changes.

A season ticket purchased using the HSL app will be refunded as follows: your season ticket is cancelled, the full price of the ticket is returned to your payment card and you are charged the price of the days you have used. In the case of an auto-renewing saver subscription, a cancellation fee will be charged if you cancel the subscription before the 12th payment. An invoice for the fee will be sent to you by mail. Please note that it takes some time for the season ticket refund to be loaded on your card. This means that you cannot use the refund to pay for the days you have used at the service point.

If the refund for a season ticket or value balance on your HSL card is paid to your bank account, you must leave your HSL card at the service point. The card charge is not refunded. If you still need an HSL card, you will get a new card for free.

If you are unable to visit a service point in person, another person can take care of the matter on your behalf. In the case of refunds paid to a bank account, a power of attorney from the owner of the HSL card is needed. Claims for a refund related to the HSL app must be submitted in person.

9.4 Refund due to hospitalization or in the event of death

  • You can get a refund for a season ticket on your personal HSL card or on the HSL app due to hospitalization. A season ticket that is unused due to hospitalization is refunded as a new season ticket or value loaded on your HSL card. Users of the HSL app get a ticket code with which they can redeem a ticket for the number of days refunded on a season ticket. You must claim your refund within two months from your hospitalization. You must submit a statement of the reason for refund.
  • In the event of death, the season ticket and value balance remaining on the deceased’s a personal HSL card or on the HSL app is refunded from the date of death. The claim for refund must be submitted within a year from the date of death. Return the HSL card to a service point. The refund is paid to the customer’s or the estate’s bank account. The card charge is not refunded. 
  • A processing fee is charged for the refunds.

9.5 Strikes or service disruptions

In the case of extensive strikes or workstoppages, HSL issues separate refund instructions on a case-by-case basis and publishes them online at hsl.fi. Service disruptions, for example a service not running or not running as scheduled, do not generally entitle customers to refunds. Refunds are considered on a case-by-case basis on application submitted to HSL.

10 Luggage and bicycles on public transport

  • Bicycles can be carried on the metro and commuter trains at any time, provided there is room. Please use the doors marked with a bicycle symbol. Please walk your bicycle in platform areas and use lifts to move between floors.
  • Bicycles are not allowed on buses and trams for safety reasons. However, folded bicycles are allowed on all public transport. Bicycles and kick bikes of children under school age can be carried on buses and trams if there is room for them in the space reserved for prams and wheelchairs.
  • On the Suomenlinna ferry, bicycles can be carried for an additional fee.
  • You may take regular luggage on public transport free of charge.
  • Dangerous items such as gas bottles are not allowed on board.

11 City bikes

City bikes are shared-use bicycles. Helsinki and Espoo have the same bike system, Vantaa has its own system. You can pick up a city bike from a bike station once you have registered for the service. If you want to buy a season pass, create an HSL account. 

You can register for the whole season, a week or a day online at hsl.fi/kaupunkipyörät. During the validity of your pass, you can take as many bike rides up to 30 minutes as you want. A fee of one euro per 30 minutes is charged for longer rides. The maximum cycling time is five hours. The user fee is charged to your payment card. The season pass is valid from spring to autumn.

Read more

12 Park & Ride

Park & Ride facilities are located near stations and stops. The facilities are designed for cyclist and motorists who use public transport for the rest of their journeys. Parking at Park & Ride sites is usually free of charge. There are about 20 parking areas where you need an HSL ticket to park your car. If you have a valid ticket on your HSL card or on the HSL app, you can park your car at these areas for 10 to 12 hours for a fee of 0 to 4 euros. 

More detailed information

13 HSL and data protection

We collect personal data about our customers to provide smooth and effective transport services.

We tell about our collection and processing of personal data in our Customer Register Privacy Statement, as well as in more detailed service-specific data protection documents available on the site.

The privacy of our customers’ data is a top priority. We process the data carefully and securely and require the same of our subcontractors and partners.

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