The new ABC
of travel

The new public transport fare zones in the Helsinki region will be introduced on 27 April 2019.

 

Zones and tickets

The old travel zones based on municipal boundaries are replaced by new zones. The zones are identified by the letters A, B, C and D.

In zones A, B and C, you need an AB or BC ticket, depending on the area you travel in. In zone D, you can buy a one-zone ticket.

Learn more about the new zones
Journey Planner for the new zones ›
Downloadable PDF maps ›

New tickets and prices 
Price list ›

What will change?


Larger travel areas

For example, the AB ticket covers Metro journeys from end to end

Short journeys between municipalities become cheaper

Is the closest post office, library or swimming pool in the neighboring municipality? The new tickets allow you to travel conveniently.


Transfer times of single tickets increased

Single and value tickets will be valid for 80-110 minutes


New inexpensive zone extension tickets

If you have a season ticket, you can inexpensively expand your travel area by buying a zone extension ticket.

Old Travel Cards will stop working

You can change your card free of charge at all sales points. Old Travel Cards cannot be used for travel under the new zone system.

Tram tickets withdrawn

All short journeys will cost the same in all zones and on all modes of transport.

 

 

 

Which ticket will you need for your journey?

You can use the HSL app or the Journey Planner to plan your journeys. They will show the new zones and the ticket you need for your journey.

In the The Journey Planner for the new zones you can already check which ticket you will need and see in which zones different places are located.

 

 

 

New inexpensive zone extension tickets

If you have a season ticket, you can inexpensively expand your travel area by buying a zone extension ticket. You can pay the ticket either with your HSL card or using the HSL app, depending on how you have purchased your season ticket.

For example, if you are going to Helsinki Airport and you have an AB season ticket, you can buy a zone extension ticket for zone C. Or if you have a BC season ticket and you occasionally travel to Helsinki city center, you simply buy an extension ticket for zone A. 

See also
Price list ›

New tickets will be available via all HSL sales channels from 27 April 2019

From the HSL app
Download the app

With the HSL card using card readers
Try how it works now

From ticket machines
Ticket machines on map

From HSL service points and other sales points
HSL sales point search

What will happen to valid tickets?

If your current season ticket will expire after the changeover to the new system, it will be automatically converted into a new zone ticket.*

The validity areas of tickets will either expand or remain unchanged. If the new season ticket does not suit your travel needs, you can change the validity area of your ticket at a service point within two months from the introduction of the new zones without the 6 euro processing fee.

* Östersundom will be in zone C in the new system. In the future, residents of Östersundom will need an ABC ticket to travel to Helsinki city center.

The HSL app tells you
which ticket you need for your journey.

When you buy a ticket, the app tells you which ticket you need when you enter the departure place and destination.

When you search for routes with the Journey Planner, it also tells you which ticket you need for your journey.

Download the app
  


Maps of new zones


Trunk route network
Download PDF


Commuter train services
Download PDF


Zones AB
Donwload PDF


Zones A,B,C and D
Download PDF


Frequently asked questions

What will happen to valid tickets?

If your current season ticket will expire after the changeover to the new system, it will be automatically converted into a new zone ticket. The validity areas of tickets will either expand or remain unchanged. However, in the new system, Östersundom will be in zone C. In the future, residents of Östersundom will need an ABC ticket to travel to Helsinki city center.

If the new season ticket does not suit your travel needs, you can change the validity area of a season ticket on your HSL card at a service point within two months from the introduction of the new zones without the 6 euro processing fee. If your new season ticket is cheaper, the prize difference will be loaded as value onto your HSL card at the service point. You can use the value to pay for single fares or for a season ticket. 

Season tickets purchased on the HSL app can be refunded at HSL service points at the Central Railway Station, in Itäkeskus or in Pasila. The old season ticket is cancelled, the full price of the ticket is returned to your payment card and you are charged the price of the days you have used. You can then buy a new season ticket using the HSL app.

This is how tickets will be converted:

Old tickets Zone tickets
Helsinki internal AB
Espoo and Vantaa internal tickets BC
Kerava–Sipoo–Tuusula and
Kirkkonummi–Siuntio tickets
D
Regional ticket ABC
Extended region 2 BCD
Extended region 3  ABCD

Single and day tickets loaded on disposable cards and purchased before the introduction of the new zones will be converted in the same way.

How do I know the zones I need to pay for?

You can use the Journey Planner or HSL app to plan your journeys. They will show the new zones and the ticket you need for your journey. In the Journey Planner for the new zones you can already check which ticket you will need and see in which zones different places are located. The printed route map, which will be updated before the introduction of the new zones, will also show the zone boundaries. At stops and stations, the zone is shown on stop signs as well as on the information posters. On board, card readers display the zone you are in and the tickets available in the current zone.

Why the new zones?

Population in the Helsinki region is growing. The urban structure is becoming more compact and people’s travel needs are changing. The Helsinki region constitutes an integrated commuting area, where residents travel across municipal boundaries. In many places, the closest shopping center, library or swimming hall may be in the neighboring municipality. The region’s municipalities are increasingly developing their services so that it is easy to use them across municipal boundaries.

The current ticket zones follow municipal boundaries and short journeys across municipal boundaries are expensive relative to the distance traveled. Another problem is that the journeys made with the same ticket can vary a lot in length: in the east, you can travel all the way to the border of Sipoo, while in the west, the regional ticket zone begins already in Hanasaari.

In addition, the new model will simplify the ticketing system. The current tickets and their validity zones are difficult to understand: what do region, extended region 2 and extended region 3 mean? Zones spreading out from the center of Helsinki, indicated by the letters A, B, C and D are easier to understand.

How have the zone boundaries been determined?

When determining the zone boundaries, the location of basic municipal services, key traffic routes, waterways, forest areas and fields were taken into account. In addition, the existing public transport network, including the Metro to Matinkylä, Ring Rail Line in Vantaa and planned trunk routes and crosstown routes, have been taken into account when drawing the boundaries.

The boundaries closely follow zoning, housing and traffic routes. Helsinki spreads into zones A, B and C, while Vantaa and Espoo are in zones B and C. Kauniainen is in zone B and the neighboring municipalities in zone D. Use the Journey Planner for the new zones to see the zone boundaries on map. You can also search for a route and see which ticket you need for the journey.

HSL’s member municipalities have together agreed on the zone boundaries. In addition, all municipal councils have given their statements on the zone boundaries.

Is it possible to make changes to the zone boundaries?

The HSL Board decided the zone boundaries on 12 June 2012. The decision was made on the basis of extensive preparatory work and statements from the municipalities. The decision is final and cannot be appealed. The performance of the zone model will be assessed once the new system has been in use for a few years. If there is a common understanding in the region that the boundaries should be revised, preparations for changes can be started.

Why can’t I buy a one-zone ticket?

In the new model, the zones and tickets do not follow the same boundaries. In Helsinki, Espoo, Kauniainen and Vantaa, i.e. in zones A, B and C, you need to buy an AB or BC ticket. Because zone B is geographically very wide, in the future, an AB or BC ticket will be enough for many who currently need a regional ticket. An AB or BC ticket is more than 40% cheaper than the current regional ticket.

The new zone model has been designed from the perspective of the whole Helsinki region commuting area and people’s travel needs across the region. The reform is based not only on the shared understanding of the travel zones in HSL’s member municipalities but also on travel surveys studying journeys made in the Helsinki region. In the new model, ticket prices will be based on the distance traveled.

The key idea is to remove the former high price gaps between municipalities and to make travel independent of municipal boundaries. At present, short journeys across municipal boundaries are expensive relative to the distance traveled. Another problem is that the journeys made with the same ticket can vary a lot in length: in the east, you can travel all the way to the border of Sipoo, while in the west, the regional ticket zone begins already in Hanasaari.

In the new model, prices and travel are less dependent on municipal boundaries. In many places, the closest shopping center, library or swimming hall is in the neighboring municipality. The new model makes it easier to use local services. On the other hand, municipal services of people’s home municipalities will be accessible using the most economical ticket also in the future: In Helsinki with an AB ticket, in Vantaa and Espoo with a BC ticket and in other municipalities with a D ticket.

Zone B is very large, covering parts of Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa. Approximately 50% of the regions residents, more than 600,000 people, live in zone B. A whole variety of services, including nearly all shopping centers, are located in zone B. The AB ticket covers journeys from Helsinki to eastern parts of Espoo, e.g. Tapiola and Matinkylä, and to southern and western parts of Vantaa, e.g. the Jumbo shopping center and Myyrmäki. In addition, the AB ticket covers Metro journeys from end to end.

As zone A is geographically too narrow to form an independent travel zone, it has been combined into zone B. If separate tickets for zone A were made available, the price of the ticket should be nearly the same as that of AB tickets, in order to collect a sufficient amount of ticket revenue. Zone A has the best supply of public transport services in the region and consequently, it is also the zone with the highest service provision costs.

Half of the funding for HSL’s public transport services comes from ticket revenue, the other half from the member municipalities’ tax revenue. It has been agreed that the amount of municipal funding will not be increased, which means a sufficient amount of ticket revenue is needed to maintain the level of service.

Why is the ticket price not directly based on the distance traveled?

Pricing based solely on the distance traveled was studied when preparing the reform and one of the options considered was to use if for value tickets. We studied the systems in place around the world. The systems used elsewhere have onboard devices for checking in and out.

This kind of check in/check out system would be difficult to implement in the Helsinki region because of partly open fare collection system where passengers do not need to validate their season tickets and valid value tickets on commuter trains, metro, trams and trunk route buses 550 and 560. The check in/check out system would slow down public transport.

In addition, a pricing system based solely on the distance traveled would have been expensive to implement. Consequently, the HSL Board decided on 23 March 2010 that ticket pricing will be based on zones.