The aim of the reform is to provide smooth, attractive and fair public transport services for the growing number of inhabitants in the Helsinki region. The urban structure is becoming more compact and people’s need to use public transport will increase.
During the next decade, population in the Helsinki region is forecast to increase by half a million. The aim of the zone model is to make the capital region more coherent and easily accessible.
At present, the fare zones follow municipal boundaries. The problem is that short journeys across municipal boundaries are expensive in proportion to the journey length. Nowadays, the Helsinki region constitutes an integrated commuting area, where residents travel across municipal boundaries every day. In the future, municipalities in the region aim to develop cross-boundary day care, health, educational and library services. The existing zone system does not support this.
One of the problems of the current fare and ticketing system became apparent when Sipoo joined HSL at the beginning of 2012. Sipoo is currently part of the third zone just like its neighbor, Kerava, but also Sipoo and Helsinki are neighbors. In the current system, there is a two-zone price gap between Sipoo and Helsinki.
Thanks to the new fare system, the capital region will amalgamate into one. Short journeys from one municipality to another will become cheaper and ticket prices will be more based on the distance traveled. The boundaries of the new zones are primarily based on distance from Helsinki city center. Unlike at present, the boundaries do not follow municipal boundaries. This enables flexible expansion of the system.
The Executive Board of HSL decided the zone boundaries in June 2012. Tuusula and Siuntio joined HSL at the beginning of 2018.