The Finnish Ministry of Transport and Communications started the preparation work for the Public Transport Action Plan in October 2008. The goal of the public transport action plan is to increase the importance and the status of public transport policy and thus increase the use of public transport in order to decrease the use of cars and greenhouse gas emissions from traffic. This goal can be reached by the implementation of concrete short and medium-term measures developed during the drafting process of the action plan.
The objective of the implementation of the Public Transport Action Plan is to define concrete short and medium-term measures for increasing the use of public transport in Finland. With these measures the state, municipalities, transport companies and other actors can increase the attractiveness of public transport as an alternative transport mode and enhance the standard of service experienced by the passenger.
The study was carried out based on the results of four workshops organised for a broad field of public transport actors and interest groups. The workshops were organised separately for small towns and rural areas, medium-sized and large cities, long-distance transport and for studying the 'service entity' (the improvement of the public transport image, increase of information and marketing, and development of compatible and consistent ticket and information systems were considered in addition to fluent travel chains).
Ten leading measures were chosen for immediate implementation. The detailed descriptions, impacts, financing requirements and development paths of the measures until 2015 have been presented as separate action cards aimed for the use and exploitation of the interest groups.
The leading measures chosen were the ones where the role of government in implementation and financing is significant, but the contribution of municipalities, transport companies and other public transport organisations at least in implementation is equally important.
The leading measures of the action plan are the following:
- Constant competitiveness of public transport
- Better standard of service of public transport in towns
- Basic public transport services for rural areas
- Compatible travel cards
- Passenger information service
- Fluent and precise public transport service
- Easy access to long-distance public transport
- Public transport zones into land use planning
- Marketing of public transport
- Getting around on bicycles, on foot and on public transport.
As a result of the implementation of the action plan, passengers are able to receive improved public transport services in urban and long-distance traffic.
In rural areas and small towns, people without cars receive adequate public transport service for their everyday mobility needs. The public transport development measures improve the operational preconditions of the business. The competitiveness of public transport compared with the use of private cars is improved through the combined effect of all the measures. This would bring about a decrease in the use of cars and in greenhouse gas emissions from traffic, and a growth in numbers of passengers on public transport of some 20 million a year.