What will the future of mobility look like?

3.3.2022 9.13
 A woman at a city bike station in Matinkylä.
The use of city bikes is part of a trend of decreasing need for ownership in the future.Photo: Olli Urpela

The future of transport and mobility will be influenced by many of the decisions taken now. Jokeri Light Rail, West Metro extension and Espoo City Rail Link extension will enable better public transport services in the near future. The need for and importance of owning means of transportation will decrease. The arrival of shared electric scooters, city bikes, cars and boats in the cityscape has already changed and diversified mobility in many ways. The energy sources in transportation are undergoing rapid changes.

In cooperation with the Espoo Adult Education Centre and Aalto University, we are organising a series of events called Our Espoo 20X0 to shed light on the future of Espoo. At the opening ceremony, futurist Elina Hiltunen spoke about the impact of major changes in the world on Espoo now and in the future. Future mobility needs and transport development prospects will also be affected by megatrends such as climate change and digitalisation. Future solutions will be required to be sustainable and emission-free. It is Espoo’s goal to reach carbon neutrality by 2030.

Investing in cycling and walking

Professor Arto O. Salonen spoke about the future of transport at the recent closing event of SixCities: Low Carbon Mobility in Transport Hubs project. He predicts that the share of human-powered transport, walking and cycling, will increase in the future.

Our cycling promoting programme for the years 2015 to 2024 sets a target of doubling cycling to 15% of transport modes.

Cycling and walking networks in Espoo are constantly being developed through new projects and improvements to existing sections. In recent years, the Läntinen Tarvonsilta and the Laajalahdenbaana projects have been significant examples of measures already implemented to promote cycling. The most significant cycling investment in the coming years will be the Rantaradanbaana, to be built in connection with the Espoo City Rail Link.

Year-round cycling opportunities have been improved through maintenance by increasing sweeping and salting in winter on the bicycle path from Keilaniemi to Leppävaara and on the Länsiväylä route from the Helsinki border to Matinkylä.

The city bikes, in use from April until the end of October, have already become an established part of Espoo's urban landscape. The city bikes are shared bikes that can be borrowed and used for a fee at city bike stations. There are bike stations in Espoo’s urban centres of Leppävaara, Matinkylä and Tapiola. The use of city bikes as a means of urban transport is very popular. Many of the most popular city bike stations are those close to metro stations. Espoo's metro and train stations have recently seen investments in bike parking facilities. As Espoo continues to grow and change, it is also necessary to continuously develop intermodal parking.

Increasing rail transport will improve public transport connections

Art is an important part of the look and feel of the new metro stations.Photo: Länsimetro / ALA Architects


West Metro extension(external link) will be completed in 2023, bringing five new metro stations. When phase two is completed, the metro will run all the way to Kivenlahti. Other new metro stations in addition to Kivenlahti are Finnoo, Kaitaa, Soukka and Espoonlahti.

Jokeri Light Rail(external link) is an express tram line to be built between Itäkeskus in Helsinki and Keilaniemi in Espoo, starting transportation in January 2024. It has been predicted that in 2030 approximately 91 000 journeys will be made with Jokeri Light Rail on weekdays. The prediction states that in 2050 there will already be 125 000 journeys per weekday. The stops on the express tram line will be located in places that are or will be centres of housing, jobs or services.

Espoo City Rail Link(external link) brings two additional tracks between Leppävaara and Kauklahti next to the existing tracks. The City Rail Link project will improve the punctuality and smoothness of long-distance traffic in the direction of Turku and local traffic in Karjaa, Kirkkonummi and Espoo as part of the capital region's public transport system. The rail link is due to be completed in 2028.

The completion of the rail projects will enhance Espoo's public transport services and significantly reduce transport emissions.

New opportunities through cooperation

We work a lot with different partners to develop transport and mobility services. Taking into account the electrification of passenger transport, we are cooperating with companies, for example, to increase the number of charging points for electric cars in housing associations in Espoo. The use of biogas as a transport fuel will also be promoted together with businesses.

In recent years, shared use and increase in transport services have been strongly visible in Espoo. Espoo's cityscape includes shared cars, city bikes, electric scooters, and boats. Diverse mobility services will be created in strong cooperation with business partners.

We have also explored the potential of automated bus services(external link) to complement public transport. A consultant report commissioned by the cities of Espoo and Turku on the future of automated buses predicts that in 2030, technology will be advanced enough to allow automated buses to drive among other traffic in all circumstances. The report states that automated public transport can be expected to be fairly established by 2040.

In addition to businesses, research institutes and universities, cooperation and dialogue with the people of Espoo is carried out through a range of events, workshops and surveys. In line with Espoo's strategy, we aim to promote opportunities for residents to make sustainable choices in their everyday lives, now and in the future. For example, in the 2021 My Espoo on the Map survey, residents provided more than 4,600 development ideas for different parts of Espoo. Residents also came up with many ideas for improvements to transport and mobility. The aim is to establish the My Espoo on the Map survey as part of the source data for urban planning.

Further information: Development Manager Mari Päätalo, tel. 040 639 4550, mari.paatalo@espoo.fi


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