From Thursday 1 February 2018, tram drivers will no longer sell single tickets. Tram tickets will continue to be available from ticket machines and with Travel Card.
“Ending ticket sales by drivers is part of the tram service development program aiming at faster, smoother and more punctual tram services. Currently, dwell time at stops accounts for up to 17 per cent of the total travel time,” says Lauri Räty, a Public Transport Planner at HSL.
“Ending ticket sales by drivers is a necessary first step before HSL can implement other measures to improve the reliability of tram services, such as improving traffic signal priorities,” continues Räty.
"Several cities around the world have already removed tickets sales on trams. The punctuality of tram services improves immediately when ticket sales ends as, for example, trams from passenger harbors are able to leave on schedule," says Arttu Kuukankorpi, the Director of Traffic Operations Unit at Helsinki City Transport.
In addition to improving the level of service, reducing delays delivers savings in public transport operating costs, allowing services to be operated with smaller number of vehicles. According to estimates, faster services will deliver cost savings of 4-5 million a year and reduce fleet demand by 8-10 trams.
Although tram drivers will no longer sell tickets, they will continue to assist passengers with travel questions.
Most people buy single tickets on their mobile phones, with Travel Cards or from ticket machines
The ticket sales on trams accounts for about 0.9 per cent of HSL’s total ticket sales. The number of tickets sold by tram drivers has decreased year by year and this year, ticket revenue from onboard sales amounts to about 3 million euros.
“A vast majority of single tickets sold are already mobile tickets or Travel Card value tickets. Single tickets are also available from ticket machines, kiosks and stores,” says Mari Flink, HSL’s Director of Customer Experience and Sales. “The sales of mobile tickets has increased by 300 per cent and the array of tickets available on mobile devices is expanding. We have just introduced mobile single and day tickets for children.”
The single ticket sales network will be further supplemented by 385 parking ticket machines that sell HSL’s single tickets. HSL and the Helsinki City Parking Control are currently preparing the introduction of HSL single tickets on parking ticket machines. At the moment, ticket sales is being tested on selected parking ticket machines.
“From customer point of view, it is good that there are plenty of parking tickets machines, they are already available and serve aroung the clock. It is even easier for car drivers to switch to public transport when they can buy a parking ticket and public transport ticket on one go,” says Flink.