In June, the Cities of Espoo and Helsinki approved the project plan for the first light-rail link in the Helsinki region called Raide-Jokeri. The light-rail line has been planned to mainly run in a dedicated lane separate from other traffic to ensure fast and disruption-free running of the trams. In addition, the line will have more efficient traffic signal priorities and longer distances between stops than the traditional Helsinki trams. These design attributes contribute to faster journey times. The average distance between stops will be 800 meters. The service will be operated with new, low-floor trams.
Raide-Jokeri will replace the current trunk bus route 550, which has about 40,000 daily passengers. It will enable an increased number of passengers on crosstown public transport. In addition, a significant amount of new housing is planned along the rail link.
The construction of the light-rail link is estimated to cost 275 million euros. In addition, new trams and depots will be needed, costing about 170 million euros. According to the preliminary schedule, Raide-Jokeri could start operating in August 2021. There are two options for purchasing the rolling stock, and HSL has commissioned a study on them.
The first option is that Helsinki City Transport uses its option to purchase additional Artic trams from the Finnish Transtech Oy. The other option is to run a competitive tendering process for a completely new tram model.