Questions and answers regarding the service changes in 2022-23

Updated 31st of March 2022

How will Espoo provide services in the future? How will the operation change?

We will offer services in three different models:

In the future, we will have three Service Points in Espoo: in Matinkylä, Leppävaara and Kalajärvi. This way, a Service Point is available along both the metro and railway tracks, as well as in Kalajärvi, which cannot be reached by rail. The Service Points will continue to operate as they currently do, in other words, provide guidance and digital support as well as a variety of cashier and sales services (such as payment of city invoices and commuter traffic ticket sales).

In areas where Service Points are being closed, new Espoo Info information points, offering a more limited range of services, will be opened. Espoo Info Points will give you advice on the use of public services as well as the services of our partners (HSL, Kela, Visit Espoo) and also guidance on the use of electronic services. In addition, mobile information service will be gradually introduced in these areas, meaning that service advisors will visit target groups that would benefit from digital support and service guidance, for example, in senior service centers.

You can also be in contact with us online,(extrernal link) by telephone, email, chat, video chat and social media.

Why is such a change being made and when?

Behind the change there is both a change in the services business model and the Economically Sustainable Espoo program. The change has also become necessary as a result of the digitalization of services, which inevitable changes the need for services.

The goal is to better reach the target groups that would benefit from digital support and general level service guidance. For this purpose, mobile information service was selected as the operating model, with focus on digital support and general level guidance and instruction on the use of public services.

The Espoonlahti Service Point will offer its full range of services until 11 March. After this date, cashier services will no longer be available in Espoonlahti. Our staff will continue to offer advice and digital support in the old location from 14 March to 25 March. The new Espoo Info will open in early April at the Lippulaiva shopping centre, next to the library.     

The current Service Point in Espoon keskus will be closed during the summer of 2022. Espoo Info will be opened at the City Registry Office operating in the Entresse Shopping Center in summer 2022.   

The change in Tapiola will take place in the late autumn, and we will inform about it in further detail later.

All the points will shift to mobile work gradually, taking into account the different needs and requirements of each area. 

Why is one local service being removed from our area? Mobile service cannot replace it.

We expect that the number of visitors to our Service Points will decrease from previous years. The COVID-19 epidemic further accelerated this change and, at the same time, highlighted those customer groups that need support in learning how to use online services.

Therefore, we are investing resources in a mobile service that goes to the customers who need the most support, for example at senior citizens’ service centers. Guidance services and support for services are also available remotely: by phone, email or via chat and video chat.

Many of our services provided by the Service Points can already be handled as self-service, such as online services provided by the city and Kela, topping up HSL cards and purchasing tickets to various events. You can also get advice from the City of Espoo and our partner services, for example, by phone and chat.

Many of our customers have already switched to online services, and we are responding to their requests by developing smoother online services. However, not everyone is able to deal with things online yet, so we are investing in supporting electronic services, i.e. digital support. That way, we want to ensure that the everyday life of the people of Espoo goes smoothly.

In the future, our Service Points will be located in places with good connections and not too great a distance from the areas of the points to be closed (from the Espoonlahti, Espoo Centre and Tapiola). In addition, some of the services provided by the Service Points are also available from other actors. For example, HSL ticketing services are provided by many commercial actors. City swimming and gym tickets can also be purchased and topped up at the tills of our indoor swimming pools.

Why do you maintain a Service Point in remote Kalajärvi? Wouldn't there be more customers in the growing city centers, Espoonlahti, Tapiola and Espoo Centre?

The maintenance of our Kalajärvi Service Point is supported by its location in an area with limited public transport connections as well as its reasonable costs in city-owned premises with limited staff resources. Kalajärvi also serves a wide area, which is the developing Northern Espoo. We will re-evaluate the situation of the Kalajärvi Service Point at the end of the Financially Sustainable Espoo program period, if the city's financial situation so requires.

We will maintain a Service Point along both tacks: one along the metro line in Matinkylä and another along the coastal railway line in Leppävaara. These two Service Points are the busiest and most easily accessible and they serve residents from a wide area. From Tapiola, and in the next few years, also from Espoonlahti, you can get to Matinkylä by metro and again from the Espoo Centre by train to Leppävaara.

In addition, fixed Espoo Infos will be opened in Espoonlahti in April 2022 and at the Espoo Centre in the summer of 2022, where you can get advice on using the services of the city and its partners (HSL, Kela, Visit Espoo) and guidance on electronic services. In Tapiola, our cooperation with the library will increase.

The Service Points also have free computers, a free wireless network and printers for the citizens who use the online services. I cannot afford to get my own computer or internet connection. Where can use the online services in the future?

The libraries of Espoo will continue to have several customer computers, printers and the city's free wireless network.

In addition, customer computers, wireless network and printers will be maintained at all our fixed service points in Matinkylä, Leppävaara and Kalajärvi.

A customer computer will also be available at the Espoo Infos, which will can be opened in Espoonlahti and the Espoo Centre. There you can get advice and digital support, but unfortunately printing is not possible at Espoo Infos.

Where can I top up HSL travel card in the future when the Service Point near me is closed? I don’t want to use a mobile app, but specifically a traditional travel card.

You can top up your HSL travel card at HSL vending machines, such as train and metro stations, or at other top up points in the area, such as R-kioski and online. You can find the location of the nearest sale and service points on HSL website(extrernal link).

According to HSL, in future it will also be possible to pay for a single trip in the vehicle with a debit or credit card. This will become possible during 2023. 

Topping up a HSL travel card at an R-kioski costs money, while at the Service Point it is free. Why is the city forcing me to pay for this?

It is a good idea to give feedback directly to HSL and the service provider in question (in this case to R-kioski) about the top up charge at various locations. We in the City of Espoo have a policy of not charging for the service, but each of HSL partners decides for themselves, and we cannot take a stand on the actions of others.

In any case, you can top up your travel card free of charge at HSL vending machines and online(extrernal link)

HSL's mobile app is also free to use. We are happy to guide you through the Service Points and Espoo Info on how to use the application and download it online. You can also use your employee benefits (Eazybreak and Epassi) to buy tickets through the mobile application. If you want to use your employee benefits to top up your HSL card without having to pay a service fee, you can visit our Service Point in Leppävaara, Matinkylä or Kalajärvi.

If you are not sure which option is the best for you, you can contact us online or by phone and together we will find a solution. You can find our contact information here(extrernal link).

Where can I now buy season products for the City of Espoo’s gyms or a wristband linked to my customer account?

You can buy season products (1/6/12 months) from the City of Espoo’s Service Points and at the Espoonlahti, Leppävaara and Keski-Espoo swimming pools. You can also buy regularly priced season products through the city’s online store(extrernal link) if you already have a customer account and your email address has been linked to this account. You can have a customer account set up at the swimming pool customer service or at the city’s Service Point. A wristband will be linked to your customer account, and the wristband will then be linked to the products in your customer account. Products for discount groups are only available through the city’s Service Points and swimming pool customer service.

If your wristband is lost or damaged, you can pick up a new one at the city’s Service Points or swimming pool customer service.

Where can I submit paper documents to the city or Kela in the future?

You can submit documents to the remaining Service Points and to the new Espoo Info in Espoolahti and the Espoo Centre. For security reasons, the mobile service unit cannot accept mail.

You can also leave Kela's mail in its own return boxes near Kela's offices.

In addition, you can mail documents directly to the recipient.

Our mobile service unit does not accept documents for security reasons.

What does digital support mean? Where can you get it when the Service Point is closed in the area?

Digital support refers to help and support that is available for the use of a variety of devices, such as a smartphone, tablet or computer, or for the use of the electronic and online services.

Digital support can include:

  • local support – for example, at service points or at Espoo Infos, provided by either an employee or a peer counsellor
  • remote support by means of chat, telephone or a video connection, for example
  • training, such as online training, courses at the adult education centre as well as videos.

The services of digital support belong to all residents. We are constantly developing our services in order to make them available to everyone.

In Espoo, you can get digital support from several different operators. The City of Espoo offers digital support at service points, Espoo Infos and libraries. Other providers of digital support in Espoo are various organisations and Omnia. Several volunteer associations and peer counsellors also provide digital support. In addition, each authority helps you to use its own online services and some commercial actors also provide their own digital support.

Espoo Infos focus especially on digital support in addition to service guidance.

Where can I get tickets to events in the future?

You can buy tickets from commercial retailers in the area or online. They are also sold at Leppävaara, Matinkylä and Kalajärvi Service Points. The advisers in the Espoo Infos and Service Points are happy to advise you on making online purchases.

Where can I pay city bills in the future? Where will the city cash register services be in the future?

Cash register services will be maintained at Matinkylä, Leppävaara and Kalajärvi Service Points.