Letter suffixes to be eliminated from the route numbers of tram 3

The route numbers of tram routes 3B and 3T will change in next
August. The Executive Board of HSL decided to change the route
numbers when it approved the transport service plan for 2013-2014
after a vote. Tram 3B will become tram 3 and tram 3T will become
tram 2. The routes of the tram services will not change.

Tram route 3 has been running since 1908. The letter suffixes T
and B, indicating the direction of travel, were added in 1951. Only
a couple of years later it was suggested that the trams should be
renumbered as 2 and 3, but the suggestion was not adopted.

The trams 3B and 3T ran a figure of eight loop in opposite
directions until spring 2009 when the new Kamppi and Mikonkatu
route sections were opened. At the same time, the idea of
renumbering the routes as 2 and 5 came up. However, the Helsinki
Public Transport Committee decided to keep the old letter suffixes,
even though they no longer indicated the direction of travel of the
trams. 

Since 2009, the trams have been changing their route numbers at
the termini: 3B changes to 3T and vice versa. Passengers have
criticized this system for being confusing. The Central Railway
Station stop is particularly problematic: even seasoned passengers
may accidentally take the wrong tram there. 

There was a lively discussion on the route numbers on HSL's blog
in late winter 2012. A total of 145 comments were posted, with over
half of them supporting the change. Also the comments received on
the transport system plan included feedback on the issue. About one
third of the people who commented on the issue were against the
renumbering, usually citing tradition and the trams being a part of
the cityscape. 

Hundreds of comments on the transport service plan

HSL’s annual transport service plan sets out the key route and
service level changes to be implemented during the coming year. The
plan now approved runs from the beginning of the summer timetable
period 2013 to the end of the winter timetable period 2014.

The Metro will in future operate to the same timetable all year
round, but due to the lower number of passengers in the summer, the
Metro will operate trains composed of only two pairs of cars for
six weeks. Commuter train E will start to operate also on
Sundays. 

There will be some changes to bus routes, service frequency and
route numbers. For example, transport links between Itäkeskus,
Malmi, Maunula, Leppävaara and Otaniemi will be reorganized in
accordance with the decision taken by the Executive Board of HSL 
in December. The Board decided earlier that the Jouko neighborhood
routes in Helsinki will be replaced by new minibus services. The
change will be implemented on 1 January 2014. Also, there will be
changes to some other regional routes and internal routes in
Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa.

The draft transport service plan has been available for comments
on HSL’s website since mid-December. A total of 400 comments were
submitted in just over a month. The issue that received the most
comments was the renumbering of the tram routes 3B/3T. Otherwise
the comments addressed several different areas and routes, and in
most of them people expressed their wishes for better public
transport supply. HSL will go through all the comments and take
them into account when planning the services as far as
possible. 

 

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