Science Tram – across in an instant

Do you often travel from Viikki to Pasila or from Arabia to Otaniemi? Are you frustrated by how slow and full bus 506 is and how unreliable its schedules are? Would you rather travel by modern, fast, smooth-running and silent light rail with the possibility to work on your laptop? If you answered yes to just one of these questions, the Science Tram is your jam – sign the municipal initiative!

Science on rails?

The Science Tram is a light rail line that is planned to replace bus 506 and handle cross traffic between Viikki and Otaniemi. In autumn 2016, bus 506’s route was shortened further, and it currently only operates between Meilahti and Viikki.

The Science Tram gets its name from the fact that science is literally made on its route. In 2019, its route will feature seven higher education institutions and ten campuses, with as much as 40% of higher education students in the Capital Region studying at these campuses and a significant share of the institutions’ personnel working there. As many as 100,000 of all jobs in the Capital Region are located in the sphere of influence of the Science Tram.

The purpose of this site is to offer information on the Science Tram and to collect signatures from the residents of Helsinki for the municipal initiative on expediting the implementation of the Science Tram so that its construction will have begun by 2025.

Following in the tracks of Raide-Jokeri

The Science Tram can be compared to the Capital Region’s first light rail line, Raide-Jokeri (site only in Finnish). The city councils of Helsinki and Espoo reached a decision on the implementation of Raide-Jokeri in June 2016. According to the tentative schedule, the line, planned to replace bus route 550, can begin operating between Helsinki’s Itäkeskus and Espoo’s Keilaniemi in 2021.

The nearest light rail system already in operation is the Tvärbana-snabbspårväg in Stockholm. Light rail systems have been built on all continents of the world during last decades. In France, for instance, as many as 25 cities already have light rail.

Light rail, such as Raide-Jokeri and the Science Tram, differs from regular tram and bus traffic operating in downtown Helsinki in the following ways (presentation only in Finnish):

  • Modern, pleasant and longer carriage (30–45 m), accommodating 200–300 passengers
  • Entering and exiting the carriage is quick and effortless due to several wide doors and a low floor
  • Longer distance between stops (500–1,000 m)
  • Travels mainly on its own lane
  • Priority in traffic lights: traffic lights turn in favour of rapid travel of the light rail
  • Average speed of around 25 km/h (cf. downtown tram: 14–15 km/h)
  • Stays on schedule even during rush hour
  • Produces less noise to both the environment and passengers
  • Accessible mode of transport: the carriages’ low floor makes it easy for everyone to enter
  • Safe choice for travelling in many different environments