Pedestrians in rainy Helsinki on 29 October 2022. Helsinki Region Transport (HSL) on Tuesday announced significant increases in ticket prices for short journeys and cuts in those for longer journeys. The new fares are to enter into effect on 1 January 2023. (Emmi Korhonen – Lehtikuva)

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HELSINKI Region Transport (HSL) on Tuesday confirmed it is raising fares significantly for shorter journeys due to a sharp increase in its operational costs.

The price of a single ticket will increase by 11 per cent from 2.80 to 3.10 euros and that of a 30-day ticket for zones AB or BC by 8 per cent from 65.30 to 70.60 euros. The discount offered to students and over 70-year-olds, meanwhile, will be slashed from 45 to 40 per cent – a level that remains much higher than in Oulu, Tampere or Turku, highlighted HSL.

The prices of longer journeys will contrastively be slashed: the price of a single ticket covering the entire region will be cut by 21 per cent from 5.70 to 4.50 euros and that of a 30-day ticket by 23 per cent from 142.70 to 109.70 euros.

The new prices are to enter into effect on 1 January 2023.

Matias Pajula (NCP), the board chairperson at HSL, told YLE that all but one member of the board approved the proposal to revamp prices, interpreting it as an indication of shared understanding of the gravity of the situation.

“It isn’t an indication of this being an easy decision,” he said. “There are very few good solutions. No one likes raising fare prices as much as we have to.”

The board also decided to shelve its plan to stop offering free journeys for groups of pupils participating in organised school trips for another year, citing the inability of municipalities to come up with the necessary funding in their budgets for next year.

News of the fare hikes were met with criticism on public transport in Helsinki on Tuesday, according to Helsingin Sanomat.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

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