Why did the driver trap me between the doors?
Tram doors close automatically when nothing has passed through them for a while. If the doors start to close, you can open them again by pressing the button. You can also stop the doors closing by placing something in front of the sensor. The doors have safety edges which ensure that they will open again if something has got trapped between them.
Why wouldn’t the driver take my 50 euro note?
Drivers don’t carry very much change and therefore are not obliged to accept any notes of denominations larger than 20 euros.
Why didn’t the driver let me on?
Trams are there for the passengers. Drivers will always admit passengers when this is possible and permitted. If you ask to be let on outside the stop area or if the tram is full, the driver does not have to let you on.
Also, at busy times it is important for traffic flow that the tram can move off as soon as the proper stop has been made and the traffic lights so allow. Unfortunately this means it isn’t always possible to wait for people running to catch a tram.
Some trams may also be chartered trams, being used for driver training or on a test drive and these do not pick up passengers. The sign on the front of the tram will show whether it is in passenger service.
There was a loud noise when the tram braked and the tram still didn’t stop. I could smell burning too. Are the tram’s brakes OK?
The braking distance for trams is much longer than it is for vehicles with rubber tyres, even in good weather conditions. The most slippery conditions for trams occur in the autumn when leaves fall onto the rails and get squashed under the tram wheels into a slimy mush. The braking distance increases even more at this time of year and you may also find the journey a bit jerky when slowing down and accelerating. Trams use brake sand which causes dust under the tram and additional brakes can cause a burning smell.
It is hoped that pedestrians, cyclists and drivers will take into account the longer braking distance required by trams in the autumn and avoid turning, crossing the road or other sudden manoeuvres at the last minute. When trams slow down more than usual at junctions, this should not be interpreted as meaning that the tram intends to give way. Instead you should still give trams enough space so that the junction can be crossed safely.
Why did two trams on the same line turn up at once? And why did I see a tram that wasn’t on its proper route?
Delays are common in city traffic. They can be caused by congestion, cars incorrectly parked and sometimes various technical problems or road accidents. This means that sometimes one tram will catch up the full tram in front. Where necessary, trams avoid the problem spot by taking a diversion. Information about diversions is provided by our Traffic Exceptions service.
Why don’t the trams run more frequently?
The tram timetables are designed by HSL Helsinki Region Transport. You can send your feedback about trams and timetables to HSL.
The screen at the stop showing the time of the next tram is blank/wrong
The screens at tram stops check the location of trams using GPS. If, for some reason, the tram cannot make contact with the satellite, the display at the stop will show the tram arrival time based on the time in the timetable (with a ~ sign before the minutes). This means that the time shown on the display won’t necessarily be correct. The displays at stops also can’t show the arrival times of trams on diverted routes.
HSL Helsinki Region Transport is responsible for the operation of the screens.
Can you drink coffee on a tram?
Drinking and eating is not allowed on trams. Passengers must make sure that any food brought on board doesn’t make a mess in the tram or inconvenience other passengers. It is perfectly OK to bring food onto the tram with you if it is in sealed packaging.
Why didn’t the driver throw a disruptive passenger off the tram?
For safety reasons, drivers do not remove troublemakers themselves. Drivers will call for help if the person in question cannot be reasoned with. It is the job of the police or the guards to remove disruptive passengers from trams.
In some cases the driver may not necessarily notice the disturbance, which is why it is essential that passengers inform the driver of any anti-social behaviour.
How can I become a tram driver?
HKL Tram Traffic organises 3-4 driver courses a year, as required, in partnership with Heltech.
To become a tram driver you have to be 21 years of age, hold a Finnish class B driving licence and have Finnish language skills. Success in the job demands a dedication to customer service and an ability to work well under pressure in city traffic.
Vacancies are advertised via the City of Helsinki’s online recruitment service: www.helsinkirekry.fi
More information about courses is available by e-mailing jonne.kuusniemi(at)hkl.hel.fi or by phoning 09-31064564.
Why didn’t the driver do anything about graffiti vandals at the back of the tram?
The driver might not necessarily see what is going on at the back of the tram. Graffiti is often only noticed when the driver checks the tram at the terminus. Because graffiti costs hundreds of thousands of euros a year, we hope that passengers will inform the driver when they see people vandalising trams with graffiti.
Why does the traffic light at the northern exit of the Lasipalatsi stop never go green for pedestrians?
There are new traffic lights at the Lasipalatsi and Kansallismuseo stops. There is no separate green light for pedestrians. Instead pedestrians can cross the tram lines when the red light is not lit. When the red light is lit and the warning sound is on, it means that a tram is leaving or arriving at the stop. Pedestrians should then behave as they would normally do at a red light. Further information about traffic lights.