Starting January 1, 2024, the Helsinki Regional Transport Authority (HSL) will increase its inspection fee for fare evasion in public transportation to 100 euros, up from the current 80 euros. This change, approved by the Ministry of Transport and Communications on Wednesday, November 29, is seen as a proportionate response to the rise in ticket prices and aims to effectively combat revenue losses from fare dodging.
Mika Nykänen, CEO of HSL, welcomed the decision, stating, “Fare evasion causes us an annual loss of up to 40 million euros in ticket revenue. We are committed to reducing ticketless travel by all means available.” This increase in the inspection fee is the first since 2007 when it was set at 80 euros. Since then, general costs and wage levels have risen significantly, diminishing the real impact and deterrent effect of the fee. For context, in 2007, the price of an adult single ticket in Helsinki's public transport was 2.20 euros. In 2023, the price for a similar ticket is 3.10 euros, and it will be 2.95 euros next year.
Compared to other Nordic countries, where inspection fees have long exceeded 100 euros, HSL’s fee has been relatively low. The decision to increase the fee aligns HSL’s practices more closely with its Nordic counterparts and is expected to be a more effective deterrent against fare evasion.
HSL has increasingly adopted a system in its bus services where passengers are not required to show their tickets to the driver when boarding, a change that streamlines traffic and improves service. However, this convenience has inadvertently contributed to an increase in ticketless travel. The raised inspection fee is aimed at curbing this trend.
The enforcement of ticket inspections by HSL is based on the Act on Public Transport Inspection Fees, underscoring the legal framework supporting the organization's efforts to ensure compliance and fair use of its services.