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.