From Thursday morning 1 February, tram drivers will no longer sell single tickets. Single tickets can be purchased using mobile phone, from R-kiosks, HSL ticket machines and HSL service points.
Ferry passengers can buy tickets at information desks on Eckerö Line, Tallink Silja and Viking XPRS ferries. In addition, single tickets are available from nearly 400 parking ticket machines around Helsinki.
“A vast majority of single tickets sold are already mobile tickets or Travel Card value tickets,” 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.”
Travel Card value tickets can be bought at onboard card readers as before. Although tram drivers will no longer sell tickets, they will continue to assist passengers with travel questions.
Ending ticket sales by drivers reduces the amount of time trams spent at stops
Ending ticket sales by drivers is part of the tram service development program whose goal is faster, smoother and more punctual tram services. It is the necessary first step to implementing other measures to improve the reliability of tram services, such as improving traffic signal priorities.
“At passenger harbors, in particular, there are long queues of passengers wanting to buy tickets from drivers. This delays the trams and lengthens the journey times. When all passengers buy their tickets in advance, we’ll be able to provide more reliable service for all customers,” says Arttu Kuukankorpi, head 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 HSL’s estimates, faster services will deliver cost savings of 4-5 million a year and reduce fleet demand by 8-10 trams.
Several cities around the world have already removed tickets sales on trams.
In Helsinki, tickets were sold tickets on trams until June 1978, when tram drivers started to sell tickets. At first, ticket sales by drivers were trialed on route 10. Tram conductors were finally withdrawn in spring 1987.