The current bus services in Espoo and Lauttasaari will be maintained at least until the beginning of the autumn timetable season in August. On Tuesday 31 January, Länsimetro Oy announced that from a technical point of view, Metro services to Matinkylä could start running in June 2017. Helsinki Region Transport HSL will decide when the line opens for passenger service and when the switch to feeder bus services takes place once the completion of the works has been confirmed. The schedule will be revised in May.
Joint test runs have been conducted at Aalto University, Tapiola, Keilaniemi, Koivusaari and Lauttasaari stations. The tests will now continue at Urheilupuisto, Niittykumpu and Matinkylä stations. On the basis of the tests performed, Metro services to Matinkylä could, from a technical point of view, start operating in June 2017 as estimated earlier. By contrast, it will not be possible to start services to Tapiola in April 2017, as previously estimated.
The estimate is based on the testing of the sliding fire doors in the Metro tunnels. The tests conducted by Länsimetro revealed that the fire doors did not close properly and this problem must be resolved. In case of a fire, the sliding fire doors separate the Metro tunnel from other areas. There are altogether 98 fire doors along the 28-kilometer section of line. The biggest doors are about 30 square meters.
Once all joint test runs have been completed, authorities in Espoo and Helsinki can approve the opening of the stations and tunnels. Helsinki City Transport will then take responsibility for the line and stations. HSL decides when the line will be opened for passenger service and when the feeder bus routes will start operating.
“Before we can decide when to switch to feeder bus services, we need to know for sure when the Metro line is fully finished,” says HSL Executive Director Suvi Rihtniemi.
“On the basis of the information available, a good date for the switch to feeder services might be 14 August, when the winter timetable season begins. Metro services to Matinkylä could start earlier. Our most important task is to ensure passengers' journeys in all situations.”