Tram traffic in Helsinki is set to increase considerably over the next 20 years. A number of tram projects are underway.
Decisions on extending the tram network to Jätkäsaari and Kruunuvuorenranta have already been passed and tram links to Kalasatama are under consultation. Rolling stock will also be updated considerably in the years ahead.
Jätkäsaari and Kruunuvuorenranta
Traffic to the centre of Jätkäsaari will commence with the extension of tram line 8 at the start of the winter traffic period in autumn 2011. After this, tram traffic will be extended from Kamppi via Tyynenmerenkatu to a temporary terminus at the Jätkäsaari passenger terminal. A connection towards Kamppi will be implemented in 2012 at the earliest. No decision has yet been made on the number for the line via Kamppi.
The decision on the Laajasalo route has a major impact on the development of the rest of the tram network. As the basis for further development Helsinki City Council has approved the tramline and bridge option Laajasalo – Korkeasaari – Sompasaari – Kruununhaka. A design competition for a tram and light traffic bridge spanning Kruunuvuorenselkä will be launched in early 2010. It is likely that a project plan for the Kruunuvuorenranta tram link will be drawn up in late 2010.
New rolling stock
It has already been decided that 40 new trams will be bought to replace the oldest articulated trams being removed from service. By 2020 we will need around 30 additional trams if planned projects are completed as intended.
Increasing tram transport will also require considerable investment in tracks and depots.
The competitiveness and efficiency of tram travel will also be improved by increasing speeds and reliability. Methods used to achieve this include priority at traffic lights and increasing the number of tram lanes separate from other traffic.
Further information about improvements to tram traffic can be found on HSL’s website.