Transport in Finland
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The transport system of Finland is well-developed.
The extensive road system is utilized by most internal cargo and passenger traffic. As of 2010[update], the country's network of main roads has a total length of around 78,162 kilometres (48,568 mi) and all public roads 104,161 kilometres (64,723 mi). The motorway network totals 779 kilometres (484 mi) with additional 124 kilometres (77 mi) reserved only for motor traffic.1:23, 42 Road network expenditure of around 1 billion euro is paid with vehicle and fuel taxes that amount to around 1.5 billion euro and 1 billion euro.
The main international passenger gateway is Helsinki-Vantaa Airport with over 13 million passengers in 2007. About 25 airports have scheduled passenger services. They are financed by competitive fees and rural airport may be subsidized. The Helsinki-Vantaa based Finnair (known for an Asia-focused strategy), Blue1 and Finncomm Airlines provide air services both domestically and internationally. Helsinki has an optimal location for great circle routes between Western Europe and the Far East. Hence, many international travelers visit Helsinki on a stop-over between Asia and Europe.
Despite low population density, taxpayers spend annually around 350 million euro in maintaining 5,865 kilometres (3,644 mi) railway tracks even to many rural towns. Operations are privatized and currently the only operator is the state-owned VR. It has 5 percent passenger market share (out of which 80 percent are urban trips in Greater Helsinki) and 25 percent cargo market share.2 Helsinki has an urban rail network.
Port logistics prices were among the lowest in OECD. Vuosaari harbour is the largest container port after completed in 2008. There is passenger traffic from Helsinki and Turku, which have ferry connections to Tallinn, Mariehamn, Sweden and several other destinations.
Road transport in Finland is the most popular method of transportation, particularly in rural areas where the railway network does not extend to. As of 2011[update] there are 78,162 kilometres (48,568 mi) of public roads, of which 51,016 kilometres (31,700 mi) are paved.1:42 The main road network comprises over 13,329 kilometres (8,282 mi) of road.1:23
64% of all traffic on public roads takes place on main roads,1:11 which are divided into class I (valtatie/riksväg) and class II (kantatie/stamväg) main roads. Motorways have been constructed in the country since the 1960s, but they are still reasonably rare because traffic volumes are not large enough to motivate their construction. There are 779 kilometres (484 mi) of motorways.1:23 Longest stretches are Helsinki–Turku (Main road 1/E18), Helsinki–Tampere (Main road 3/E12), Helsinki–Heinola (Main road 4/E75), and Helsinki–Porvoo (Main road 7/E18). The world's northernmost motorway is also located in Finland between Keminmaa and Tornio (Main road 29/E8).
There are no toll roads in Finland.
Speed limits change depending on the time of the year; the maximum speed limit on motorways is 120 km/h (75 mph) in the summer and 100 km/h (62 mph) in the winter. The main roads usually have speed limits of either 100 km/h or 80 km/h (50 mph). Speed limits in urban areas range between 30 km/h (19 mph) and 60 km/h (37 mph). Finland, like most other European countries, has right-hand traffic.
Coaches are mainly operated by private companies and provide services widely across the country. There is a large network of ExpressBus services with connections to all major cities and the most important rural areas as well as a burgeoning Onnibus 'cheap bus' network. Coach stations are operated by Matkahuolto.
Local bus services inside cities and towns are often tightly regulated by the councils. Many councils also have their own bus operators, such as Tampere City Transit (TKL), which operates some bus lines on a commercial basis in competition with privately owned providers. Regional bus lines have been regulated by the provincial administration to protect old transit companies, leading to cartel situations like TLO in the Turku region, but strong regional regulating bodies, like the Helsinki Regional Transport Authority (HSL/HRT), whose routes are put out to tender exist as well and will become the norm after the transitionary period during the 2010s.
The Finnish railway network consists of a total of 5,919 kilometres (3,678 mi)3 of railways built with 1,524 mm gauge.4 3,072 km (1,909 mi) of track is electrified.3 In 2010, passengers made 13.4 million long distance voyages and 55.5 million trips in local traffic.3 On the same year, over 35,000,000 tonnes (34,000,000 long tons; 39,000,000 short tons) of freight were transported.3
Passenger trains are operated by the state-owned VR Group. They serve all the major cities and many rural areas, complemented by bus connections where needed. Most passenger train services originate or terminate at Helsinki Central railway station, and a large proportion of the passenger rail network radiates out of Helsinki. High-speed Pendolino services are operated from Helsinki to other major cities like Jyväskylä, Joensuu, Kuopio, Oulu, Tampere and Turku. Modern InterCity services complement the Pendolino network, and cheaper and older long and short distance trains operate in areas with fewer passengers.
The Helsinki area has three urban rail systems: a tramway, a metro, and a commuter rail system. Light rail systems are currently being planned for Turku and Tampere, two of the country's other major urban centres.
In Finland there have been three cities with trams: Helsinki, Turku and Viipuri. Only Helsinki has retained its tramway network. The Vyborg tramway network ceased operations in 1957, after the city had been ceded to the Soviet Union, while the Turku tramway network shut down in 1972.
As of 2010, Turku and Tampere have preliminary plans for new tram systems, but no decision to build them has been made.
Helsinki currently operates 12 tramlines on a network of approximately 90 kilometres (56 mi) of track in passenger service. Nearly all of the network consists of double track route, such that the route length is approximately half of total the track length. Around 200,000 passengers use the tram network each weekday and within the inner city of Helsinki, trams have established a position as the main form of public transport. The system is being expanded substantially in 2010–2015 to new residential areas and, as of May 2010, the city is in the process of selecting among bids to deliver a series of 40 new trams, with an option for more.
There are 148 airfields, 76 of which have paved runways. 21 airports are served by scheduled passenger flights. By far the largest airport is Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, and the second largest by passenger volume is Oulu Airport. The larger airports are managed by the state-owned Finavia (formerly the Finnish Civil Aviation Administration). Finnair, Blue1 and Finncomm Airlines are the main carriers for domestic flights.
Helsinki-Vantaa airport is Finland's global gateway with scheduled non-stop flights to such places as Bangkok, Beijing, Guangzhou, Nagoya, New York, Osaka, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Tokyo. Helsinki has an optimal location for great circle airline traffic routes between Western Europe and the Far East. The airport is located approximately 19 kilometers north of Helsinki's downtown area in Helsinki's northern suburb of Vantaa, thus the name Helsinki-Vantaa.
Other airports with regular scheduled international connections are Joensuu Airport, Jyväskylä Airport, Kajaani Airport, Kokkola-Pietarsaari Airport, Lappeenranta Airport, Mariehamn Airport, Pori Airport, Tampere-Pirkkala Airport, Turku Airport and Vaasa Airport, .
Frequent ferry service connects Finland with Estonia and Sweden. Baltic cruise liners regularly call on the port of Helsinki as well. In domestic service, ferries connect Finland's islands with the mainland. Finland's cargo ports move freight both for Finland's own needs and for transshipment to Russia.
The Finnish Maritime Administration is responsible for the maintenance of Finland's waterway network. Finland's waterways includes some 7,600 kilometres (4,700 mi) of coastal fairways and 7,900 kilometres (4,900 mi) of inland waterways (on rivers, canals, and lakes). Saimaa Canal connects Lake Saimaa, and thus much of the inland waterway system of Finland, with the Baltic Sea at Vyborg (Viipuri). However, the lower part of the canal is currently located in Russia. To facilitate through shipping, Finland leases the Russian section of the canal from Russia (the original agreement with the Soviet Union dates to 1963).
- Finnish Road Statistics 2010 (PDF). Statistics from the Finnish Transport Agency 6/2011 (ISSN-L 1798-811X). Helsinki: Finnish Transport Agency (FTA). 2011. ISBN 978-952-255-699-8. Retrieved 7 August 2011.
- Transport and communications ministry – Rail
- Suomen rautatietilasto 2011 (pdf) (in Finnish, Swedish). Finnish Transport Agency. 2011. ISBN 978-952-255-684-4. ISSN 1798-8128.
- Network Statement 2012 (pdf). Finnish Transport Agency. 2010. ISBN 978-952-255-603-5. ISSN 1798-8284.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Transport in Finland.|
- VR Group (The main site of the Finnish railway company)
- Search engine for all public transit in Finland
- Finnish Maritime Administration
- Finnish Road Administration
- Transport statistics at Findicator