Helsinki Regional Transport Authority

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Helsinki Regional Transport Authority
Founded 2010
Area served
Greater Helsinki
Key people
Suvi Rihtniemi (CEO)
Services Public transport
HSL buses in Helsinki city centre
A HSL travel card which can be used on public transport services in Helsinki, Espoo, Kauniainen, Vantaa, Kerava, Sipoo and Kirkkonummi
Payment being made for travel by placing a travel card near a card reader

Helsinki Regional Transport Authority (Finnish: Helsingin seudun liikenne, HSL, Swedish: Helsingforsregionens trafik, HRT) began its work on January 1, 2010.[1] The work of the new intercommunal authority is based on the new Finnish public transportation law in force since December 3, 2009.[2] HSL is one of the largest intercommunal bodies in Finland, having 1.1 million people in its area of influence.

According to the law HSL is responsible for the planning and procuring of the public transportation in Greater Helsinki. The traffic functions of YTV and planning, procuring and tendering functions of HKL were moved into the transport authority.[1]

HSL is responsible to produce the bus, tram, metro, ferry and commuter train services in Greater Helsinki and to compile the Helsinki Region Transport System Plan. HSL is also in charge of marketing and passenger information for public transportation. HSL is heavily involved in making the next generation open data and open source intermodal public transport route planner Codename Digitransit slated for a 2017 completion happen. In addition, it's responsible for the fare and ticketing system and ticket inspection.

Member municipalities, revenue and staff[edit]

In the beginning phase the member municipalities are the cities of Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Kerava and Kauniainen and the municipality of Kirkkonummi, who own the new intercommunal body together. A treaty has been composed, in which the operations and governance of the transport authority are regulated.

Also the other municipalities in the Greater Helsinki area (Järvenpää, Nurmijärvi, Tuusula, Mäntsälä, Pornainen, Hyvinkää, Vihti and Sipoo) may join the transport authority in future. There are currently altogether 1.3 million inhabitants in the 14 municipalities of greater Helsinki and the population is estimated to increase to 1.5 million by 2030.

The Helsinki Regional Transport Authority was founded in a meeting on June 17, 2009. When its work began, it had a revenue of over 500 million euros, and approximately 350 staff members. The first president of the board of directors of HSL was Timo Jaatinen from Helsinki. When Mr. Jaatinen was chosen as the president of another organization, Tatu Rauhamäki from Helsinki was chosen as the president of HSL in December 2009. The offices of the transport authority are located in Pasila, Helsinki in the address Opastinsilta 6A.

Official name and visual identity[edit]

The official name of the transport authority is Helsingin seudun liikenne -kuntayhtymä HSL in Finnish and Samkommunen Helsingforsregionens trafik HRT in Swedish. The official name of HSL in English is Helsinki Regional Transport Authority HSL. Also the shorter form of the name, Helsinki Region Transport (HSL) may be used in everyday use.[3]

The visual outlook of HSL has been designed by design office Kokoro & Moi.[4] The designers explain the concept ("outlook") as:

"The outlook shows reliability, freshness and ease of approaching. The octagonal shape of the logo is symbolizing the expanding public transportation network. The loops in the logo remind of leaf shoots, telling of new ways of action and new partnerships and of ecological values. The eight loops also represent all cardinal directions and are sending a message of the broad-ranged function of the organization. In the middle of the logo there are two graphical lines, symbolizing uniting organizations and the public transportation with its tracks, wheels and map lines."


HSL's duty is to do its part in taking care of the functioning, economical aspects and caring of nature in the greater Helsinki. This goal is achieved by promoting the usage of public transportation and by organizing affordable and well functioning public transportation services.

HSL takes care of planning the regional public transportation and internal public transportation of Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa. Beside planning, HSL also tenders the bus companies. The organization owns no buses or rail rolling stock.

Travel card[edit]

HSL operates Travel Card system (Matkakortti in Finnish, Resekort in Swedish) based on MIFARE DESFire and Ultralight (for disposable tickets) technologies.[5] The purchase price for empty reusable travel card is €5 and is non-refundable.

HSL has announced plans to replace the current travel card system along with the card readers to a new technology in 2016.[6] The new cards are going to be named the HSL card and the Visitor card, respectively.


External links[edit]