Public transport in Stockholm

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A metro train at Gamla stan station
An icy commuter train
A city bus at Sergels torg
Heritage tram on the Djurgården line
Modern tram on Spårväg City line 7 at Sergels torg

Public transport in Stockholm consists of bus, metro, regional/suburban rail, light rail, tram and archipelago boat operation in Stockholm County, Sweden. The bus and rail is organized by Storstockholms Lokaltrafik (Stockholm Transport, literally: Greater Stockholm Public Transport),[1] SL, which is owned by the Stockholm County Council. The operation and maintenance of the public transport systems are delegated by SL to several contractors. The boat traffic is handled by Waxholmsbolaget.[2]

The airport rapid public transport systems are handled separately though, with Flygbussarna[3] providing airport bus services, and Arlanda Express[4] an airport train service.

Transport systems[edit]

Bus[edit]

There is a vast number of bus lines in Stockholm County. There are three different kinds of bus lines that differ from regular bus lines.

  • Inner-city blue bus lines
  • Suburban blue bus lines
  • Service bus lines

The blue bus are in the inner city variant trunk lines traversing large parts of the Stockholm inner city, and in the suburban variant acting as important feeder lines between the suburbs and public transport hubs in central Stockholm, or providing crossway connections between suburbs. These are called blue bus lines because the buses that operate on them are painted blue, in contrast to the red color of the regular buses.[5] The service bus lines are especially adapted for elderly people, and are found in certain residential areas. Along some parts of these lines instead of regular bus stops there are areas where one can halt the bus just by waving at them.

Blue bus lines[edit]

Line Route
1 Frihamnen – HötorgetFridhemsplanStora Essingen
2 NorrtullOdenplanSlussenSofia
3 SödersjukhusetSlussenFridhemsplanKarolinska Hospital
4 GullmarsplanFridhemsplanEast Station – Radiohuset
172 NorsborgHuddingeHögdalenSkarpnäck
173 SkärholmenÄlvsjöBandhagenSkarpnäck
176 Mörby station – SolnaEkerö centre – Stenhamra
177 Mörby station – Solna – Tappström – Skärvik
178 Mörby station – Helenelund station – KistaJakobsberg station
179 Sollentuna station – KistaSpånga station – Vällingby
471 SlussenNackaOrminge centre – West Orminge
474 SlussenGustavsberg centre – Ålstäket – Hemmesta
670 East StationDanderyds sjukhusVaxholm
676 East StationDanderyds sjukhusNorrtälje
872 Gullmarsplan – Granängsringen – Tyresö centre
873 GullmarsplanTyresö centre – Nyfors
875 GullmarsplanTyresö centreTyresö church

Metro[edit]

Main article: Stockholm Metro

The Stockholm Metro consists of three groups of lines, which are each referred to as a singular line.

Name Lines Stretch Length Stations
Blue line 10, 11 KungsträdgårdenHjulsta/Akalla 25.5 km 20
Red line 13, 14 Norsborg/FruängenRopsten/Mörby centrum 41.2 km 36
Green line 17, 18, 19 Åkeshov/Alvik/Hässelby strandSkarpnäck/Farsta strand/Hagsätra 41.3 km 49

The Stockholm metro has been called 'the world's longest art gallery',[6] with most of the network's 100 stations decorated with sculptures, mosaics, paintings, installations, engravings and reliefs.

Suburban rail[edit]

There are three suburban rail systems, with eight lines. Roslagsbanan uses an 891 mm narrow gauge, the others use standard gauge.

Name Lines Stretch Length Stations
Saltsjöbanan 25, 26 SlussenSaltsjöbaden; IgelbodaSolsidan 18.5 km 18
Roslagsbanan 27, 28, 29 Stockholm East StationNäsbypark/Österskär/Kårsta 65.0 km 39
Commuter rail (Pendeltåg) 35 Bålsta – Stockholm – Nynäshamn 107 km 27
Commuter rail (Pendeltåg) 36 Märsta – Stockholm – Södertälje 74 km 24
Commuter rail (Pendeltåg) 37 SödertäljeGnesta 30 km 6
Commuter rail (Pendeltåg) 38 (Tumba) - Älvsjö – Stockholm - Arlanda - Uppsala 46 km 21

Regional and intercity rail[edit]

There are regional and InterCity trains going on the mainlines between Stockholm and cities outside the county. These cities include Uppsala, Gävle, Eskilstuna, Linköping, Västerås. These train are run by SJ on their own, and SJ tickets or special combination tickets called TiM (SJ+SL) are valid. The trains are run for a profit by SJ, without tax support. This is possible by having relatively expensive monthly tickets, for example about 2000 kr Stockholm-Uppsala (SL not included).

Light rail and tram[edit]

Main article: Trams in Stockholm

There is one heritage tram line operational, Djurgården line.[7] The infrastructure is owned by SL, but the cars are owned and operated by the Swedish Tramway Society. All SL fares are valid.[8]

There are three regular light rail lines and one inner city tram line in Stockholm and only two of them, Nockebybanan and the new Tvärbanan are connected and share depot and rolling stock. The LRV primarily used on these lines are a localized version of Bombardier's Flexity Swift; Urbos trams have also been ordered.[9]

Name Line Stretch Length Stops
Spårväg city 7 Sergels torgWaldemarsudde 3.2 km 12
Nockebybanan 12 NockebyAlvik 5.7 km 10
Lidingöbanan 21 RopstenGåshaga brygga 9.2 km 14
Tvärbanan 22 Sickla uddeSolna station 18.2 km 25

Tvärbanan has an ongoing construction project to extend it between Alvik and Solna. This will be finished in 2013.

Boat[edit]

There are several archipelago boat lines in Stockholm County, run by Waxholmsbolaget. Some of them operate year around.

One boat line, Djurgårdsfärjan, goes in central Stockholm, between Slussen and Djurgården. The SL travelcards are valid on that one, but not the SL coupons.

Airport transport[edit]

The rapid public transport to and from the airports in Stockholm are handled a bit separately than the regular land based public transport as handled by SL, thus they have their own tickets and pricing structure. It is also possible to take regular public transport to and from the airports, but that typically means one has to change between some buses or trains and the trip takes more time.

Arlanda Express[edit]

Main article: Arlanda Express

Arlanda Express provides an airport rail link service to and from the Stockholm-Arlanda Airport.

The typical ticket price between Stockholm and Arlanda Airport for an adult is 240 SEK,[10] and the trip takes 20 minutes.

Flygbussarna[edit]

Main article: Flygbussarna

Flygbussarna provides an airport bus service to and from all four airports associated with Stockholm: Stockholm-Arlanda Airport, Stockholm-Bromma Airport, Stockholm-Skavsta Airport, and Stockholm-Västerås Airport.

The ticket price between Stockholm central bus terminal (T-Centralen) and Arlanda Airport for an adult is 110 SEK,[11] and the trip takes 40–50 minutes.

Local Bus and Pendeltåg[edit]

Bus 583 leaves Arlanda right outside the arrivals area. This bus takes you in 10 to 15 minutes to Märsta—the nearest town to Arlanda—where you then take the commuter train (Pendeltåg) to the Stockholm central railway station. If you need to go elsewhere in Stockholm or catch a train elsewhere, you can do it there. The Stockholm subway system (Tunnelbana or T-bana as it is known locally) also connects there. Don't get confused, because the railway part of the station is called Stockholm Central while the subway stop there is called T-Centralen. T-Centralen is an easy walk from the railway part of the station underground so you need not worry about the weather. The subway system is extensive and also connects to the local bus system. You can use several different types of tickets to use the entire system without paying again and again. You can purchase single trip zonal tickets which are good for an hour after you first start, though they often give you at least an extra 15 minutes on top of that, buy a strip ticket which works like a zonal ticket though more than one person can use it at once, and there are travelcards for various time periods from one day to annual tickets that can also be used by more than once person, though—unlike the strip ticket—not at once. Also, if you qualify because of being a senior or some other reduction status, you can purchase all of these tickets at a substantial discount to the regulare tickets. All of these are available at the Pressbyrån store in the Sky City part of Arlanda. You cannot purchase these tickets at the Pressbyrån store in the arrival area. From Monday through Friday, the Sky City Pressbyrån store is open at 7 am, coinciding with many early arriving international flights. On Saturday and Sunday, it does not open until 9 am. This route takes about 15 minutes to get to Märsta and then another 45 minutes to get to Stockholm Central. It is by far the least expensive way to go from Arlanda to Stockholm. Up-to-date prices can be found from [www.sl.se] also in English. It starts out in Swedish but you can choose Visitor and see it in English.

Tickets[edit]

By one measure—single ticket price for a 10-kilometre (6.2 mi) journey—Stockholm has the most expensive-to-use public transport in the world, as of March 2009.[12]

SL's tickets[edit]

SL has two main forms of tickets, both are used in all SL public transport in the entire Stockholm County.

  • Travel card — valid during the on it specified period of time, from 24 hours up to a year depending on the card. The travel cards are not affected by the zone system, except when traveling across the Stockholm County border to Bålsta. All variants are sold at the SL Centers, SL's resellers sell only the most common ones.[13]
  • Zone tickets — valid during one hour after the start of the trip, 2–6 tickets needed per trip depending on the length. With the zone tickets if you change to another SL public transport you may do so with the same ticket as long as the next part of the trip begins within an hour from the time that is stamped on the ticket. The zone tickets are available in four different types:
    • Cash ticket, purchased at the Metro or commuter rail barriers, or from conductors on those rail lines that have such. Note that you cannot purchase tickets on the buses.[14]
    • Pre-paid tickets, available in single units and in slips of 16 units. Both types are sold at SL resellers. In manned Metro and commuter rail barriers only the 16 unit slips are sold, single units purchased from there are of the cash ticket type.
    • Text message tickets, must be purchased before one gets on board the transport. Valid for 1 hour and 15 minutes to allow for some margin to purchase it beforehand.[15]
    • Vending machine tickets, purchased at ticket machines that can be found at some bus stops and some Metro and commuter rail stations. Payment can be made either with debit cards or with coins, in which case exact change is required.[16]
Traveling with zone tickets
within Stockholm County
Number of zones
traveled in
Number of zone
tickets required
1 2
2 3
3 4
Traveling across the
Stockholm County border
To/From Additional zone
tickets required
Using
zone tickets
Using
travel card
Bålsta 2 2
Gnesta 2 0
Ticket machine by a bus stop at Stockholm East Station (Östra station).

SL's zone system[edit]

The zone system consists of three zones,[17][18] named A, B and C, with Zone A in the middle containing the entire Metro system, covering the Stockholm City Centre and the innermost of the suburbs. Zone B covers a band outside Zone A, containing many of the outer suburbs. In Zone C lies the outermost parts of Stockholm County.

For travel across the Stockholm County border, e.g. with the commuter train to Bålsta or Gnesta, two additional zone tickets is required, in the case of Bålsta even with the travel cards. There are special travel cards though that allow for travel to and from Bålsta without having to deal with the additional zone tickets. Also note that the SMS tickets and machine tickets cannot be used for travel across the county border.[19]

SL's ticket prices[edit]

The prices for the most common tickets are the following.[20] The reduced price is for persons under the age of 20, or over the age of 65.

Zone tickets
Ticket name Full price Reduced price
Cash ticket, per unit 25 SEK 14 SEK
Pre-paid ticket, per unit 18 SEK 11 SEK
Pre-paid ticket, slip of 16 units (IE Maximum of 8 trips) 200 SEK 110 SEK
Text message ticket 1 / 2 / 3 zones 36 / 54 / 72 SEK 20 / 30 / 40 SEK
Vending machine ticket 1 / 2 / 3 zones 36 / 54 / 72 SEK 20 / 30 / 40 SEK
 
Travel cards
Card name Full price Reduced price
1-day / 24-hour card 115 SEK 70 SEK
3-day / 72-hour card 230 SEK 140 SEK
7-day card 300 SEK 180 SEK
30-day card 790 SEK 490 SEK
90-day card 2,300 SEK 1,400 SEK
Season card, May–August 2,400 SEK 1,450 SEK
Annual card, January–December 8,300 SEK 4,990 SEK
 
Student prices
Card name Price
30-day card 560 SEK
90-day card 1,540 SEK

The 1-day and 3-day travel cards are available in two variants, valid either from midnight of the day they are valid from, or 24 or 72 hours respectively from the moment they were purchased.

Upcoming ticket system[edit]

SL is in the process of introducing a new ticket system, called SL Access,[21] but there have been delays and several postponements and it has from time to time been uncertain when the system will be introduced.[22][23] SL blames quality problems with the system, and Social Democratic members of the board of directors at SL have wanted to investigate whether it is possible to cancel[24][25] the contract with the supplier, the ERG Group.[26] In April 2008 SL contracted IBM to complete the installation of SL Access before the end of 2008.[27]

When the new system is taken into use, the current system consisting of magnetic strip cards and stamped coupons will be phased out. The system has been in a limited public trial in the Stockholm Metro, and on the buses on Lidingö.[22][28] The new system will be based on RFID smart cards.[21] The new system will also make differentiated travel card schemes possible, e.g. local travel cards for certain areas which can be made cheaper than the travel card that is valid for the entire Stockholm County. The ticket prices will be generally raised in conjunction with the introduction of the new ticket system.[29]

Waxholmsbolaget's tickets[edit]

With the Waxholmsbolaget archipelago boats the ticket structure is essentially

  • Cash ticket paid on board, price dependent on trip length
  • 30-day period cards

On the Djurgården ferry line (Djurgårdsfärjan) between Slussen and Djurgården, the SL travel cards are valid, but not the SL coupons.

Arlanda Express tickets[edit]

The Arlanda Express train between Stockholm central station and Arlanda airport has its own relatively expensive tickets. The normal price is 240 kr one way. Tickets can be bought in vending machines near the platform, or electronic tickets on the internet. They can be bought on board the train for a 50 kr surcharge. There are discounts for children, students and retired people. There are multi-journey tickets, and a one-year tickets for unlimited travel.

Contractors[edit]

SL does not themselves directly operate any traffic, instead all the traffic is handled by contractors. The contractors used by SL are as of January 2010 the following.[30]

Rolling Stocks[edit]

  1. SL Metro Train
  2. SL Commuter Train

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stockholm Transport - in English
  2. ^ Waxholmsbolaget
  3. ^ Flygbussarna Airport Coaches
  4. ^ Arlanda Express
  5. ^ "Blåbussarna". AB Storstockholms Lokaltrafik. Archived from the original on 2007-02-21. Retrieved 2007-04-21. 
  6. ^ Art Discussion website 'Twisted Sifter'
  7. ^ "The Djurgården line no 7:". Swedish Tramway Society. Retrieved 2007-05-18. 
  8. ^ "The Djurgården line no 7N: Fares". Swedish Tramway Society. Retrieved 2011-07-21. 
  9. ^ "CAF wins Urbos tram contracts". Retrieved 2011-04-01. 
  10. ^ "Prices". Arlanda Express. Retrieved 2007-05-18. 
  11. ^ "Fares". Flygbussarna Airport Coaches. Archived from the original on 2007-03-22. Retrieved 2007-05-18. 
  12. ^ "A fare price?". The Economist. September 24, 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-24. "In Stockholm it costs $4.88 for a single journey of 10km on public transport, the highest cost in a study of 73 cities by UBS, a Swiss bank." 
  13. ^ "Köpställen". AB Storstockholms Lokaltrafik. Retrieved 2007-04-21. 
  14. ^ "Kontantstopp på bussarna". AB Storstockholms Lokaltrafik. Retrieved 2008-01-01. 
  15. ^ "Beställa sms-biljett". AB Storstockholms Lokaltrafik. Retrieved 2007-04-21. 
  16. ^ "Biljettautomater". AB Storstockholms Lokaltrafik. Retrieved 2007-04-21. 
  17. ^ "De nya zonerna". AB Storstockholms Lokaltrafik. Retrieved 2007-04-21. 
  18. ^ "Nya zoner den 1 april". AB Storstockholms Lokaltrafik. Retrieved 2007-04-21. 
  19. ^ "Resa till Bålsta och Gnesta". AB Storstockholms Lokaltrafik. Retrieved 2007-04-21. 
  20. ^ "Fares and Tickets - SL". AB Storstockholms Lokaltrafik. Retrieved 2014-07-21. 
  21. ^ a b "Nytt betalsystem: SL Access". AB Storstockholms Lokaltrafik. Retrieved 2007-12-30. 
  22. ^ a b "SL skjuter upp smarta kort-reform". Svenska Dagbladet. 2007-08-30. Retrieved 2007-12-30. 
  23. ^ "SL:s nya biljettsystem dröjer". Svenska Dagbladet. 2007-10-31. Retrieved 2007-12-30. 
  24. ^ "Försenat kortsystem oroar". Svenska Dagbladet. 2007-11-19. Retrieved 2007-12-30. 
  25. ^ "SL kan bryta biljettavtalet". Svenska Dagbladet. 2007-11-21. Retrieved 2007-12-30. 
  26. ^ "Case Studies — Stockholm". ERG Group. Archived from the original on 2007-12-13. Retrieved 2007-12-30. 
  27. ^ "Ny partner tar SL Access i mål". AB Storstockholms Lokaltrafik. 2008-04-08. Archived from the original on 2008-04-14. Retrieved 2008-04-13. 
  28. ^ "Lidingöbor testar SL:s nya resekort". Dagens Nyheter. 2007-08-22. Retrieved 2007-08-22. 
  29. ^ "SL höjer priset på månadskort". Dagens Nyheter. Retrieved 2007-05-13. 
  30. ^ "Entreprenörer och samarbeten". AB Storstockholms Lokaltrafik. Retrieved 2010-01-25. [dead link]
  31. ^ "Arriva". AB Storstockholms Lokaltrafik. Retrieved 2010-01-25. [dead link]
  32. ^ "Busslink". AB Storstockholms Lokaltrafik. Retrieved 2010-01-25. [dead link]
  33. ^ "MTR". AB Storstockholms Lokaltrafik. Retrieved 2010-01-25. [dead link]
  34. ^ "Nobina". AB Storstockholms Lokaltrafik. Retrieved 2010-01-25. [dead link]
  35. ^ "Roslagståg". AB Storstockholms Lokaltrafik. Retrieved 2010-01-25. [dead link]
  36. ^ "Stockholmståg". AB Storstockholms Lokaltrafik. Retrieved 2010-01-25. [dead link]
  37. ^ "Tågia". AB Storstockholms Lokaltrafik. Retrieved 2010-01-25. [dead link]
  38. ^ "Veolia Transport". AB Storstockholms Lokaltrafik. Retrieved 2010-01-25. [dead link]

External links[edit]