A Helsinki tram publicizing the use of hydropower as the energy source of all trams and the metro in the city. Photo: HKL
The Helsinki trams and metro have switched to Finnish hydropower as their electricity source in an effort to increase the use and awareness of renewable, low-emission energy sources in public transport. As a result, a ride on a tram or the metro in Helsinki has a near-zero carbon footprint, as it produces no carbon dioxide emissions through electricity sources. Rail transport, already an eco-efficient form of transport, is now increasingly environmentally friendly in Helsinki.
The tram and metro services in Helsinki are operated by Helsinki City Transport HKL, and the public transport services in the Helsinki region are produced by Helsinki Region Transport HSL. Both have a significant potential impact on the environment and climate through their energy choices. They can steer rail transport onto a more responsible path and help reduce overall energy use in rail transport. HKL’s switch to hydropower is the latest move by the region’s public transport in responsibility.
HKL purchases the electricity needed to operate the tram and metro services from the Helsinki energy company Helsingin Energia as certified hydropower. Helsingin Energia has hydropower capacity in the Kymijoki and Kemijoki hydropower plants in Finland owned and operated by subsidiaries and associated companies.
HKL and HSL seek to raise awareness of the environmental impact and benefits of public transport by rail with a new website, which offers diverse information on the environmental choices of rail transport. A tram surfaced with water images circulating in the city on regular traffic also reminds the general public of transport choices now available in the city that do not contribute to climate change.
More about travel in the city by hydropower