HSL’s transport service plan for 2016-2017 was available for comments online for one month from 11 December 2015 to 10 January 2016 and HSL received a total of 172 comments on the plan.
“The opening of the West Metro and the related changes to bus services are the biggest change in public transport ever seen in the region, measured by the number of residents and passengers affected. Delivering the change in a controlled manner is the greatest challenge for us and our partners in cooperation this year,” says HSL Director of Public Transport Planning Department Tero Anttila.
“Construction works in the surroundings of nearly all new Metro stations will affect the operation of feeder bus services but we believe we’ll be able to manage it with good planning and effective communications.”
Changes to bus services
This year the biggest changes to public transport take place in Lauttasaari and South Espoo when the 14-kilometer long Metro extension from Ruoholahti to the west is completed. When the new Metro line opens, the current bus routes operating from Espoo and Kirkkonummi along Länsiväylä to Kamppi are withdrawn and bus services in Lauttasaari are mostly converted into feeder services.
From 15 August 2016, the Metro will run between East Helsinki and Matinkylä in Espoo so that every other Metro train runs on the Matinkylä-Vuosaari line and every other on the Tapiola-Mellunmäki line. From August, Metro trains will be operated with four cars because at eight of the new stations, platforms are planned for four-car trains.
However, the trains will run more frequently than at present. Between Tapiola and Itäkeskus, the Metro will run every 2.5 minutes during peak times, Monday-Friday and on Saturdays every 3 minutes 45 seconds during the daytime and on Sundays and in the late evening every 5 minutes. In addition, new M300 Metro trains will enter into service in August.
The opening of the new Metro line will significantly affect bus services: Bus routes running from South Espoo and Kirkkonummi to Helsinki along Länsiväylä will be withdrawn and in future, they will terminate in Matinkylä or Tapiola. Metro will provide the main transport link from Lauttasaari to the city center and there will be changes to bus services in Lehtisaari and Kuusisaari, for example. The changes are explained in detail in the West Metro Feeder Bus Route Plan approved by the HSL Executive Board in January 2015.
As the bus routes from South Espoo are withdrawn, the Kamppi bus terminal will become available for other bus routes. Bus routes currently terminating elsewhere in Kamppi, at Elielinaukio or in Meilahti will in future have their termini at the terminal. Indirectly, the West Metro will affect also bus services in Pakila and Maunula.
In addition, bus services will be renumbered across Espoo.
Changes to train services in March
There will be changes to train services in the HSL area from 27 March, with the biggest changes affecting the coastal line.
Y train services between Helsinki and Karjaa as they are now will be withdrawn but from 27 March, HSL will procure Y train services between Helsinki and Siuntio. In addition, new, fast on peak X train services will be introduced between Helsinki and Kirkkonummi. Unlike the current Y train, the new X and Y trains will stop also at Espoo and Huopalahti.
S and U trains will be merged into new S trains stopping also at Tolsa and Jorvas. The Mankki and Luoma train halts will be closed and buses will serve them from 27 March. A minibus route 166 will serve in Mankki and Lasilaakso and route 911 will serve Luoma.
On the mail line, H and R trains will be merged into a new R train running every 30 minutes.
The changes are related to a new agreement on train services between the Ministry of Transport and Communication and VR Group for 2016-2019.
Vantaa bus network improved, new tram route to Katajanokka
The City of Vantaa has provided additional funding for the development of bus services in the city. The money has already been used to improve bus schedules from the beginning of the year. In addition, a new bus route 612 (Tammisto-Tikkurila) will be introduced in August. The bus will run Monday-Friday every 60 minutes between 7am and 6pm. Route 415 will be extended from Aviapolis to the airport.
The only major change to tram services is the introduction of route 5. The route will replace tram 4T and run between the Central Railway Station and Katajanokka ferry terminal.
What is a transport service plan?
The annual transport service plan includes the key route and service level changes to be made. The annual plan is valid from the beginning of the coming summer timetable season to the end of the winter timetable season in the following year.
HSL has prepared the plan in cooperation with public transport experts of the municipalities, representatives of school authorities and operators. Residents have been able to participate by commenting on the plans online. The Executive Board of HSL approves the transport service plan. The changes in costs incurred by the plan are based on the financial and operational plan approved by the HSL General Meeting.
Changes taking place in 2016 in a nutshell:
- Metro services begin on the new Ruoholahti-Matinkylä line (15 August)
- Changes to bus routes in South Espoo and Lauttasaari and renumbering of all bus routes in Espoo (15 August)
- Tram route 5 reintroduced between Katajanokka and Central Railway Station (15 August)
- New bus route 615 (Tammisto-Tikkurila) introduced in Vantaa, route 415 extended from Aviapolis to the airport (15 August)
- New termini at Kamppi bus terminal for routes now terminating elsewhere in Kamppi, at Elielinaukio and Meilahti (15 August)
- Y train starts running between Helsinki and Siuntio, a new on peak X train (Helsinki-Kirkkonummi). Both of the trains stop also at Espoo and Huopalahti. S and U trains merged into new S trains stopping also at Tolsa and Jorvas. Mankki and Luoma train halts closed. On the main line, H and R trains merged into R trains running every 30 minutes (27 March)
- Services in Mankki and Luoma replaced by minibus route 166 (Mankki and Lasilaakso) and route 911 (Luoma) (27 March)