Using the Travel Card

You can pay all your HSL area public transport fares with the Travel Card. You can choose a season ticket or value loaded on the card – or you can use both.

Even if you normally use a season ticket, you might want to load some value on your card for journeys beyond the area of validity of your season ticket. Value tickets bought with a Travel Card are cheaper than single tickets.

New card readers

Card readers are replaced by new ones during 2016. The installation of the new readers will begin in June and be completed in phases one vehicle at a time. During the transition period, there are both old and new card readers in use.

The card reader buttons are the same as before and you can buy all the same tickets as before. Only the 0 button, i.e. tram ticket, has been replaced by a picture of a tram.

There are no changes to the use of season tickets: show your card to the reader. On the new reader, the reading area is at the bottom of the reader. The buying process of a value ticket is different: first you select the journey, then press OK and last show your card to the reader.

You can practice using the new card reader with a virtual card reader.

Using a season ticket

Show your Travel Card to the card reader every time you board a bus. On other vehicles, you do not need to show the card to the reader if you have a valid season ticket on the card.

When using a season ticket, do not press the buttons of the card reader. You simply need to place your card in the reading area in the middle of the keypad. Do not remove the card from the reader until the green light appears and the reader beeps.

Buying a value ticket

Value tickets are bought using the card reader buttons. You can buy value tickets with value (i.e. money) loaded on your Travel Card.

Place the card calmly to the reading area of the card reader, hold it there and simultaneously press a button to select the desired ticket:Kortinlukija

  • 1INTERNAL: An internal value ticket for Helsinki, Espoo and Kauniainen, Vantaa, Kirkkonummi, or Kerava–Sipoo
  • 2 = REGION:  A regional ticket valid in Helsinki, Espoo, Kauniainen and Vantaa
  • 0 = TRAM: A value ticket valid only on trams

    If you have a discount Travel Card (for children, students, pensioners or the disabled), press 1. With a discount group Travel Card, the price of a Helsinki internal value ticket purchased by pressing 1 is the same as or lower than the price of a tram value ticket purchased by pressing 0.

  • L = EXTENDED REGION: A 2-zone extended regional ticket valid in Espoo, Kauniainen, Vantaa, Kerava, Sipoo and Kirkkonummi. The ticket is not valid in Helsinki.

  • 3 = WHOLE REGION: A 3-zone extended regional ticket valid in Helsinki, Espoo, Kauniainen, Vantaa, Kerava, Sipoo and Kirkkonummi.

The fare is paid when the green light turns on and/or the card reader beeps. The card reader beeps once if the journey is a one-zone journey and twice if the journey is regional or extended regional.

The card reader automatically recognizes if you are entitled to travel at a reduced fare and always charges the appropriate fare. Night fare is also charged automatically.

In addition to card readers, you can use Travel Card value as a means of payment at Travel Card service points, on commuter trains and at HSL's blue ticket machines when buying paper tickets, for example single tickets or day tickets.

Card reader light signals

When you show your Travel Card to a card reader, the reader beeps and emits a green, yellow or red light. Light signals:

  • Green light: There is a valid season ticket on the card / Value ticket has been purchased / Value ticket transfer time is valid
  • Green and yellow light: Season ticket valid for three days or less / Less than 7,50 euros of value left
  • Yellow light: Pay to the driver or conductor.
  • Red light: No valid season ticket / Not enough value for buying a ticket / Other error (see the instructions on the info display)

Making a transfer with Travel Card

If you have a valid value ticket on your card and wish to transfer from one vehicle to another, show your card to the card reader in order to register your transfer but do not press any of the buttons. The ticket is valid if the green light appears and the card reader beeps. The reader’s info display shows the time the transfer expires.

If you have a season ticket, you simply show your card to the reader as usual when boarding a bus. On commuter trains, trams and the Metro you do not need to show your season ticket.

Buying multiple value tickets with the same card

You can pay the fares of several adults or children with value loaded on your Travel Card. As discount-rate tickets are always personal, you can only buy them for yourself.

Value tickets for several people are purchased the same way as individual tickets. Remove your Travel Card from the card reader for a while between each purchase of a ticket. Repeat as many times as needed to pay for the number of journeys wanted. You can purchase a maximum of 31 tickets at a time.

You cannot buy two different kinds of value tickets on your Travel Card. However, you can buy another value ticket for a larger area to replace a valid value ticket. For example, you can buy a Helsinki internal ticket to replace a tram ticket, or a regional ticket to replace an Espoo internal ticket. In such a case, the first value ticket will no longer be valid.

Alternatively, all tickets can be purchased in one go from the driver. From the driver you can also purchase a child-rate ticket with value loaded on an adult-rate Travel Card or vice versa. Conductors do not sell tickets on Travel Cards.

Back to top