The opening of the new Metro line will affect also bus services. The extension of the Metro to Matinkylä, Espoo will significantly change public transport services in Espoo and Lauttasaari. In particular, most journeys to Helsinki city center will in future be made by rail. In South Espoo and Lauttasaari this means a switch to feeder services.
The feeder bus routes will be introduced on 3 January 2018. The Metro and current bus routes will operate simultaneously for some time before switching to feeder bus services.
Bus routes will be renumbered in South Espoo and Kauniainen when the Metro is opened and the feeder routes start operating. In North Espoo, the new route numbers were introduced already on 15 August 2016.
Why the changes?
When the West Metro opens, it will be the primary mode of transport from South Espoo to Helsinki city center. As operating bus services parallel to the Metro is not cost-effective, most bus services in South Espoo will in future terminate at Matinkylä or Tapiola Metro Stations.
In South Espoo and Lauttasaari, bus services will be converted into feeder services. The buses will operate a frequent service to the Metro Stations, from where passengers can continue conveniently by the Metro. HSL area transport services are based on an extensive and robust trunk rail network that ensures well-functioning, convenient public transport links around the Helsinki region.
The number of bus routes and different route versions will decrease but the buses will run more frequently. Where possible, services are concentrated on the same streets enabling a good service level on the joint sections of route of two different bus routes at all times throughout the week. In addition, the aim is to plan timetables so that bus routes operating along the same streets would run at as regular headways as possible.
From bus to Metro
In Espoo, the two big interchange hubs will be Tapiola and Matinkylä but passengers will be able to change from bus to Metro also in, for example, Niittykumpu and Urheilupuisto. In Lauttasaari, passengers will be able to change to/from buses at the Lauttasaari Metro Station.
In Matinkylä, passengers will be served by a new bus terminal tp be opened when the Metro extension is completed. The bus terminal will be integrated with the Iso Omena shopping center. In Tapiola, the Merituulentie bus terminal will not be completed until at the end of 2018. Until then, buses will leave from Pohjantie and Tapionaukio. The walking distance from the Metro station to the bus stops will be a few hundred meters.
Special arrangements will be in place also around a number of other Metro stations due to construction work but these will not affect the operation of the Metro.
The new Matinkylä bus terminal will be integrated with the extension of the Iso Omena shopping center on top of the Metro station. Illustration: Arkkitehtitoimisto HKP Oy / Länsimetro Oy
New routes and route numbers
The routes of almost all bus services in South Espoo and Kaunianen will change when the West Metro opens. There are changes also in Lauttasaari, Lehtisaari, Kuusisaari and southern Kirkkonummi. In addition, routes will be renumbered.
Some changes took place already on 15 August 2016: Bus routes were renumbered in North Espoo and service routes in Espoo and Kauniainen became neighborhood routes.
The aim is that the direction and destination of the routes could be deduced from the route numbers. In Espoo, bus routes will be divided into 100, 200, 300, 400 and 500 series.
The following logic is used:
- 100 series: Länsiväylä bus routes
- 200 series: Turunväylä and Turuntie bus routes
- 300 series: Vihdintie bus routes
- 400 series: Hämeenlinnanväylä bus routes
- 500 series: crosstown routes
To study HSL area route numbering in greater detail, see this map.
Impacts of the bus network redesign in different areas
South Espoo and Kauniainen
In South Espoo, bus services will be converted into feeder services during the Metro operating hours. In other words, practically all those traveling to Helsinki city center by public transport will be using the Metro. Most of the bus routes currently running to/from Kamppi, will terminate at Matinkylä or Tapiola Metro Stations. Some completely new bus routes will be introduced.
Attention has been paid on city internal bus links to create a frequently running bus network between the district centers (Tapiola, Matinkylä, Espoonlahti, Leppävaara, Espoon keskus). Although the number of routes decreases, walking distances to stops will remain reasonable. Services have also been concentrated on the same streets more than before to enable a more frequent service on the joint sections of route. The bus network in Kauniainen will also change. Outside the Metro operating hours, night buses will operate from Kamppi to South Espoo and Kauniainen.
Bus routes will change also in Lauttasaari. The Metro will be the main mode of transport from Lauttasaari to Espoo as well as to Helsinki city center. All Lauttasaari bus routes will run via Lauttasaari Metro Station but there will also be a direct bus link, for example, from Vattuniemi to Ruoholahti and Erottaja. At night time, when the Metro does not run, buses will run between Lauttasaari and the city center as well as to Espoo.
Bus routes currently running from Kirkkonummi to Kamppi will be withdrawn. Outside the Metro operating hours, route 173N will run to Kamppi. Commuter trains will continue to provide a direct link to Helsinki city center.
Lehtisaari and Kuusisaari
Journeys from Lehtisaari and Kuusisaari to Helsinki city center will in future require transfers. Bus routes 551 (Pasila-Westendinasema) and 552 (Malmi-Maunula-Munkkiniemi-Otaniemi) will run through Lehtisaari. Passengers going to the city center can transfer to another bus or tram, for example, in Munkkiniemi. Transfer to the Metro will be possible in Otaniemi at the Aalto University station. Outside the Metro operating hours, route 551N will run from Kamppi via Munkkiniemi and Otaniemi to Tapiola.
Helsinki inner city
Most of the bus routes running from Helsinki city center to South Espoo, Lauttasaari, Kuusisaari and Lehtisaari will be withdraw and replaced by the Metro. Also the role of the Kamppi bus terminal will change: bus routes that currently have their termini overground at Kamppi will get new termini at the underground terminal. In addition, night buses to Espoo and Kirkkonummi operation outside the Metro operating hours, will be using the terminal.