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travelling around in helsinki

3 September 2009 No Comment

well, you have many options on how one would want to travel in Helsinki. In terms of public transport,you have:
-tram
-buses
-metro
-ferry
-bicycle

There is flat rate for travelling on these services of 2.5oEuros-which is pricey, but it allows you to travel on any of these options for an hour. You also have a travelcard which is normally 40Euros for one zone, for one month.

The tram connects the central part of Helsinki quite well. It is slow in comparison to the bus, but it has higher frequency. There are old and new trams and one always finds a place to sit.

Bus routes map out Helsinki and provides linkage to other parts of Finland. One normally has to wait for a maximum of 20mins to catch a local bus. When you wish to get onto a bus, one must flag it down,else it will not stop for you. When you wish to get off, press the red STOP button which are strategically positioned throughout the bus.

I haven’t used the metro yet, but i suspect it to not be very different from the underground services of London.

I took the ferry to Suomelina. You have indoor and outdoor seating. The outdoor one works quiet well only in the summer months.

ferry to estonia

For a newcomer, I found the ytv.fi to be plenty useful to plan journeys. Finns are known for their need for details and when you use the journey planner, you will the planner recommending routes with bus stop name with a number next to it. Well, that number refers to the bus stop number- so that way one always knows on which side of the road to stand, in the appropriate direction.

For a small city, Helsinki’s public transport seems to be designed in such a way to reduce the need for private transport. Apparently, if you use a personal vehicle,you are heavily taxed and this is due to the small population to the large road area quotient-but this proves to be a deterrent in this current wave of worry over climate change. One can also point out how cheap it is to travel by public transport when you have a travelcard- for 40 euros,you couldn’t buy that in London, where the minimum is 99GBP for a month. And lastly, the choice one has in the matter of travels-mass rapid transport(MRT) is the dream of many growing city to address transportation requirments, and Helsinki seems to have gotten it right.


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