RTS North Karelia


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RTS North Karelia

  1. 1. Public Transport services in FinlandStructural review of existing transportservices in region of North KareliaHow existing rural transport services meet the needsof the citizens and what are the priorities for thefuture development 1
  2. 2. Rural Transport Solutions projectWork Package 2 reportRegional Council of North KareliaPielinen Karelia Development CentreNorthern Periphrery ProgrammeJaakko RintamäkiHeidi TanskanenHeikki ViinikkaJuho Mutanen2
  3. 3. Contents1 Introduction......................................................................42 Finnish Public Transport System – Legislation and Financial Analysis.............................................6 2.1 Legislation, transport authorities and service providers.......................................63 Public Transport services in North Karelia – Current status 2010...........................................................15 3.1 General information about North Karelia............................................................15 3.2 The funding and different models of public transport services...........................16 3.3 Public transport services in North Karelia: Maps and Routes............................21 3.3 Population distribution and public transport routes..........................................244 Pielinen Karelia pilot region..................................................33 4.1 Description of a pilot area....................................................................................33 4.2 The funding of public transport services in Pielinen Karelia..............................35 4.3 Public Transport services in Pielinen Karelia and Juuka: Maps and Routes..................................................................................................39 4.4 Rural Transport - Special questions in Pielinen Karelia and Juuka...................445 Surveys...........................................................................47 5.1 Pielinen Karelia surveys.......................................................................................47 5.2 Tourism enterprises surveys.................................................................................516 Good practices in North Karelia.............................................537 Conclusion and the Development priorities...............................59 3
  4. 4. 1 IntroductionThe market share of public transport is approx- At the same time, the public-transport sys-imately 14.4% of the Finnish transportation tem has lost customers, and previously profit-system1. However, the share of daily trips using able rural routes have been abolished. Duringpublic transport is smaller, approximately 8%. the 21st century, the inhabitants of rural areasThe figures have been collected from munici- have had to face the fact that the possibilitiespalities, transport companies, the former Finn- of using public transport are minimal in someish Road Administration and questionnaires. areas. The only real alternative is to use a pri-The market share of public transport is an esti- vate car.mate, but it can be seen to give a relatively goodidea of the total share of different forms of The situation is the same in other parts oftransport in Finland. The vast majority of trips northern Europe, where the era since the Sec-are made using private cars. The share of pas- ond World War has been one during whichsengers using a private car has been increasing people have become wealthier and the mid-strongly since the 1950s, especially during the dle-class has expanded. The increase in thelast 30 years. number of private cars was not seen as a social problem at first. Its problems were first visibleIn North Karelia, the share of trips made using in the metropolises and capitals of Europe. Inpublic transport is even lower than the Finnish European cities, public transport has tradition-average. According to a recent transportation ally had a central role, but in some rural areassystem plan2, the market share of daily trips of northern Europe the different forms of pub-made using public transport is approximately lic transport have not been developed in paral-5%. On longer trips in particular, the use of pri- lel with the housing and service structure.vate cars is significant (92.3%). In rural areas, the problems to be tackled areThe increase in the use of private cars is linked sparse housing and long distances, which doto the fact that Finnish society, including ru- not exist in cities. There are also fewer peo-ral areas, rapidly became wealthier after the ple living in rural areas than in cities, and the1950s. Incomes rose, and industrial produc- long-term trend of people moving from ruraltion increased. For the first time, ordinary citi- areas to cities will further decrease the popu-zens had the opportunity to purchase a car for lation. Moreover, the population in rural areastheir own use. Finland is no longer in the phase is constantly aging. This development, visibleof becoming rapidly motorized, but transpor- throughout Europe, will continue for anothertation possibilities have radically changed dur- couple of decades as the baby-boom genera-ing the last few decades. The advantage of own- tions born after the war grow older and as theing a private car is the feeling of freedom and new generations become ever smaller in size.mobility it gives.1 Including air traffic (Public transport performance sta-tistics 2007)2 North Karelia transportation system plan 20104
  5. 5. In rural areas, aging is one of the main fac- also find it difficult to organise their transporttors that are affecting the use of private cars. to work or to leisure activities.It is no longer clear that everyone who owns acar is also able to use it actively. Some people The large global issue is how to promote sus-are very dependent on their spouse who owns tainable development and reduce carbon-diox-a driving licence, since longer trips to run er- ide emissions. The transition towards public,rands and make recreational trips can only be communal transport must be a common goalmade if the spouse drives the car. both in cities and in rural areas. The European Union has been one of the most active institu-On the other hand, rural areas also provide tional promoters of sustainable development.homes for young people, people of working age The Northern Periphery Programme aims atand people with special needs due to disabil- finding solutions for the sparsely populated ar-ities or social issues. These user groups may eas of the northern member countries. 5
  6. 6. 2 Finnish Public Transport System – Legislation and Financial Analysis2.1 Legislation, transport authorities and service providersIn Finland, the state and municipalities are re- as, municipalities where the distances betweensponsible for the funding of public transport. population centres are great and small urbanThe funding and support system is based on di- districts. Railway transport and long-distancerect purchases of transport services, the com- transport using coaches also require public-pensation for deficits of contract transport and transport purchases.fare revenues. As a supplementary system,Finland uses an extensive transport cost reim- The public-transport performance statisticsbursement system for special user groups (cus- (17, 2009) divide the funding of public trans-tomers of social services, the disabled and peo- port into the following categories according tople needing transport to and from hospitals). their purpose. The objective of the funding sys- tem is to promote the supply and demand ofFunding by the state and by municipalities is the services.meant to ensure a basic level of service for pub-lic transport and to promote the use of public According to the Ministry of Transport andtransport in areas where the operation of the Communication, the funding of Finnish pub-transport system would otherwise be jeopard- lic transport is rather dispersed (Ministry ofised and/or where the load on the environment Transport and Communications, Reviewingcaused by traffic needs to be decreased3. Ef- the system of funding for public transport 2,forts to ensure a basic level of service are tar- 10. 2009).geted, in particular, at sparsely populated are- Public-Transport Funding purposes: Supply and Demand Funding promoting supply Funding promoting demand Public funding covers the Covers reimbursements of the travel expenses purchase of transport services, of special groups and purchases of fare reduc- funding of scheduled transport tions. The funding is indirect and manifests and compensations for deficits. itself in the form of the fare revenues accruing The additional supply generated to the transport contractor. Tariff support is can be recognized most easily discussed here from the point of demand, as in the case of the purchase of it is often difficult to distinguish it from the transport. funding of supply. Source: Public Transport Performance statistics 2007. Ministry of Transport3 Ministry of Transport and Communications 2, p. 9,20086
  7. 7. In addition to the objectives of the funding Table 1: The responsibility for organising public and service trans-and its functional division, it is also worth not- port (Source: Public-Transport Performance Statistics 2007. Minis- try of Transport)ing that the funding of the Finn- Funding influencing Supply Funding influencing Demandish public transport system comes Ministry on Transport and Purchase of rail transport, State subsidised youth faresfrom multiple channels. The re- Communication purchase of air transport and purchase of fare reductionssponsibilities for organising and Provincial governments Purchase of basic transport, State subsidy of fare reductions state subsidy of local transportfunding public transport are divid- Education School transport subsidy, School pupil and student secondary level education ticketsed between several authorities, and institutesin practice each Finnish municipal- Health and social services Reimbursements of travel expensesity is in charge of organising and Ministry of Defence Charter transport fot conscripts Reimbursements of travelfinancing public transport. Public and reserve forces expenses of conscripts and reserve forcesfunding consists of two parts (Min- Ministry on Labour Reimbursements of travelistry of Transport and Communica- expenses of performers of nonmilitary servicetions 2, p. 11, 2009): Major cities (Helsinki, City transport deficit support, Reductions granted for special• Direct funding: transport- Espoo and Kauniainen, contract transport groups, tariff support Vantaa, Tampere, Turku) service purchases by the Other municipalities Purchase of transport services, Reductions granted on social state and by municipali- deficit support for specific grounds, puchase of fare routes or companies reductions ties, fare subsidies, com- pensation for deficits of contract transport *4• Reimbursements of travel expenses purchased by the Centres for Economic Devel- (state, municipalities) opment, Transport and the Environment en- sure that public transport is also available in areas where maintaining scheduled services isThe responsibility for organising public trans- not profitable. The purchased transport servic-port and service transport has been decentral- es can also support the already profitable serv-ised to several different branches of adminis- ices on certain routes by increasing passengertration. The basic funding and organising re- numbers. In other words, municipalities ben-sponsibility structure of the Finnish public efit from the purchases made by the Centrestransport system can be seen in the following for Economic Development, Transport and thetable. The table also includes public transport Environment. For instance the school trans-organised by the armed forces and the Ministry port services in many municipalities have beenof Labour that is usually not presented togeth- based on scheduled services purchased by theer with the rest of the public transport system state. In addition to the basic public transportdue to its special character. These services are services, the purchases made by the Centresusually mainly used for the transport of con- for Economic Development, Transport and thescripts. Environment also support local transport and service transport. Also, resources are used an-As an addition to the table, it could be men- nually for different kinds of fare subsidies (citytioned that the Centres for Economic Devel- tickets, regional tickets, commuting tickets).opment, Transport and the Environment, theformer State Provincial Offices, have a signif-icant role in purchasing regional basic trans-port services. The regional transport services 4 The Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment are in charge of the tasks that formerly belonged to the State Provincial Offices. 7
  8. 8. The role and responsibilities ofthe stateThe development of the transport infrastruc- Areas where cities have full economic respon-ture including public transport systems be- sibility include the Helsinki Metropolitan Arealongs to the sphere of responsibilities of the Council district (metropolitan area and neigh-state. The state is not responsible for organis- bouring municipalities), Tampere and Turku.ing public transport services. In practice, pri- In rural areas, the Centres for Economic De-vate enterprises provide the public transport velopment, Transport and the Environmentservices, and the public sector supports these (former State Provincial Offices) purchase sup-services if a sufficient service level cannot be plementary basic services for transport acrossattained in a certain area on purely commer- municipality borders. Each municipality pur-cial grounds. chases transport for within its borders. The Centres for Economic Development, TransportThe role of the state as the organ ensuring a and the Environment co-operate with munic-certain service level mainly concerns long- ipalities and subsidise the prices of regionaldistance transport and regional transport. tickets.The municipalities are left in charge of trans-port within their borders. Combining different With regard to railway transport, VR (Stateforms of passenger transport and linking trips Rail) has an exclusive right to provide servic-have also been mentioned as responsibilities es. This has been justified by the fact that it en-of the state in the report produced by Nyberg’s sures that extensive railway services are avail-work group5. able in all parts of the country6. The Ministry of Transport and Communications is respon- sible for railway-transport purchases. The lo- cal train services for the Helsinki metropolitan area are purchased by the Helsinki Metropoli- tan Area Council. Public transport services also receive a signifi- cant amount of funding via Kela (National In- surance Company). According to the Health Insurance Act, a person is entitled to receive reimbursements of travel expenses related to treatment. The act is meant to encourage peo- ple to use public transport on trips related to treatment and to take advantage of transport combination services if such services are avail-The state has provided €150-200 million of an- able in the area7.nual funding for public transport in the last fewyears.5 Ministry of Transport and Communications 2, p. 13, 6 Ministry of Transport and Communications 2, p. 14,2009 2009 7 Ministry of Transport and Communications 2, p. 14, 20098
  9. 9. The role and responsibilities ofmunicipalitiesMunicipalities are responsible for organising A total of approxi-statutory transport services for social-welfare mately €120 millioncustomers and for the disabled and for organ- has been spent annu-ising school transport services. A major part ally for the purchasesof the municipalities’ public-transport budg- of public transport services available to every-et comes from the branches of administration one. Of this sum, 75% is used in the Uusimaaresponsible, and the aim is to fulfil the target region9.group-specific service obligation. School transport is the largest individual costSome municipalities also offer special trans- item that municipalities have to cover when or-port services that are available to all inhabit- ganising public transport. Pupils receiving ba-ants. These services provide inhabitants who sic education are entitled to free transport ifdo not own a car with the possibility to run er- the trip to school is over five kilometres or ifrands, among other things. the trip otherwise causes unreasonable strain10. It is estimated that the annual cost of schoolIn general, the public transport services in ru- transport in Finland is €128.6 million.ral areas are not as good as services in cities ifthe number of services and the service hours The second most significant cost item consistsare examined. A service that runs twice a week of service transport for the disabled, in accord-is considered a basic-level service. A basic-lev- ance with the Act on Services and Assistanceel service cannot usually be used for going to for the Disabled. Customers have a subjectivework, going to pursue hobbies in the evenings right to these transport services. Transport inor for running errands in the daytime. accordance with the Act on Services and As- sistance for the Disabled is usually limited toThere are major differences in the ways of or- the municipality where the customer lives organising special transport services and in the to neighbouring municipalities. The statisticsfrequency of the services in Finland and also used do not include information on all munici-within the North Karelia region. In some mu- palities, but the costs of these transport serv-nicipalities, special transport services are ba- ices are over €70 million each year. In 2006,sically non-existent, and in others services are €8.5 million was spent on discretionary trans-available in population centres on weekdays. port services in accordance with the Social Wel-The state supports statutory transport services fare Act and €6 million on transport services invia the state subsidy system8, but public trans- accordance with the Act on Special Care for theport that is available to everyone has not been Mentally Handicapped11.included in the system.8 An income equalization system for the division of costs 9 Ministry of Transport and Communications 2, p. 15,between the state and municipalities 2000 10 Ministry of Education and Culture 2010 11 Ministry of Transport and Communications, p. 15, 2009 (lacking information) 9
  10. 10. The statutory obligation of municipalities is 2.2 Public Transport Funding to organise service transport for those in need in Finland of it in accordance with the Social Welfare Act and the Act on Services and Assistance for the According to the expense information reported Disabled. The state of other public transport by different state organisations and municipal- services, so called special transport services, ities, the delivery of different public transport varies greatly from municipality to municipal- service forms cost the public sector approxi- ity. The assessment reports on basic services mately €700 million in 2007 (Public-transport made by State Provincial Offices have pointed performance statistics 2007). The same year, out this inequality for several years now. Some the portion financed by the state was €206.7 municipalities are able to provide public trans- million and the total sum financed by munic- port services at the basic service level in pop- ipalities €489.7 million. In 1997, the share of ulation centres and rural areas, whereas other the public funding of public transport financed municipalities do not provide any public trans- by the municipalities was 66.5%. In 2007, this port services apart from the statutory services. share had increased to 70.3%. The role of the In such cases, the options are to use a bicycle, a state has diminished especially in the direct private car or an expensive taxi. funding of public transport services. The sum that municipalities invest in organising pub- Table 2: The parties and division of tasks in Finnish lic transport has increased by €200 million in public transport services (Riikonen 2008) ten years, which is almost as much as the en-Ministry on Transport and Purchased transport: Railroads tire sum the state uses for funding public trans-Communication and Air transport. port (Public-transport performance statisticsELY-centre (9/15) Scheduled-transport grants 2007). and purchases inter-municipal trasport services. By comparing the means of transport used, twoMunicipalities (342) principal means of transport can be singled out from the Finnish public transport system,School Transport Largest municipal transport ser- at least based on expenses. These two means vice in Finnish municipalities. Municipality purchases Regular of transport are buses/coaches and taxis. The tickets for regular routes or share of the funding of both means of transport purchases bus/taxi service. has grown, and their combined share of the en-Transport service for dis- 18 one-way trips per month tire funding is now 90%. The public fundingabled (statutory) for one individual. Possibility to of bus/coach transport has grown by 62% be- cross municipal border. tween the years 1997 and 2007. For taxi trans-Transport service for social Discretionary. Different prac-reasons (statutory) tices in Finnish municipalities. port, the growth is 84% (Public-transport per- Usually same kind of rights as formance statistics 2007). in transport services for dis- abled. The vehicle capacity of railway transport has re-Open public transport in No regular state subsidizes. mained almost the same as before, but seat ca-municipal area (not statu- Quality and Quantity of opentory, basic-level service) transport services varies greatly pacity has increased. The share of public fund- between different municipali- ing in railway transport has remained constant ties. or perhaps even decreased slightly while theKela – The Social Insur- Fare compensation for hospital passenger capacity has increased.ance Institution of Finland travels. Public Transport rate. 10
  11. 11. Public Transport funding State and Municipalities Public Transport funding between different transport modes 800 350 700 300 600 Railway 250 Tram million euros 500 Undergroundmillion euros 200 Bus, Coach 400 Taxi 150 Air 300 100 SL Ferry 200 50 100 0 0 1997 1999 2001 2003 2005 2007 1997 1999 2001 2003 2005 2007 Figure 2: Public Transport funding between different State Municipalities Total transport modes (Source: Public-Transport Performance statistics 2007. Ministry of Transport and Communica- Figure 1. Public Transport funding, State an Munici- tions) palities (Source: Public-Transport performance statis- tics 2007) Based on the number of buses and coaches The number of taxis has decreased by approxi- and their number of seats, the capacity of bus/ mately 200 vehicles in a decade. Of the Nordic coach transport has grown. If measured by the Countries, Finland is still the country with the number of seats available, bus/coach transport most taxis. The passenger capacity of taxis has has a capacity of at least twice the size of all decreased in relation to the number of vehicles other public transport forms put together. This that are no longer used as taxis. In 2007, there is also visible in the amount of public funding were 9,449 taxis in Finland, and taxi transport directed at bus/coach transport. Bus/coach was the second most subsidised form of public transport receives by far the most funding of transport. all forms of public transport. Table 3: Vehicle and seating capacity (Source: Public Performance Statistics 2007. Ministry of Transport and Communication) Vehicle capasity, number Railway Tram Under- Bus, Taxi Air Ferry to Total ground coach SI 1997 888 105 42 6 579 9 676 27 4 17 321 1999 918 104 42 6 921 9 700 27 4 17 716 2001 896 109 54 6 799 9 272 32 3 17 165 2003 878 122 54 6 992 9 186 29 3 17 264 2005 904 131 54 6 876 9 152 32 3 17 152 2007 869 131 54 7 056 9 449 22 3 17 593 Seating capacity, number Railway Tram Under- Bus, coach Taxi Air Ferry to Total ground SI 1997 58 710 3 953 5 460 311 793 48 699 2 174 750 431 539 1999 64 315 3 922 5 460 317 331 50 000 2 044 870 443 942 2001 67 785 4 317 6 948 311 749 48 200 2 730 710 442 439 2003 63 940 5 320 6 948 322 658 46 900 2 764 710 449 240 2005 70 441 5 889 6 948 317 511 46 332 2 895 810 450 826 2007 69 607 5 898 6 948 325 426 48 473 1 959 810 459 121 11
  12. 12. Public Transport annual passengers in Finland 400 350 300 Railway million passengers Tram 250 Underground 200 Bus, Coach Taxi 150 Air 100 SL Ferry 50 Figure 3: Public transport annual passengers (Source: Public Performance Statistics 2007. Ministry of Transport 0 1997 1999 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 and Communication)The passenger volumes of public transport have Railway transport receives the lowest publicnot increased at the same rate as public funding subsidy per seat kilometre of the three mainhas increased. The total passenger volume has forms of public transport. On average, eachgrown by 6.3% between 1997 and 2007. This seat kilometre travelled using public trans-is significantly less than the increase in fund- port was subsidised by 1.5 cents. For buses anding (60%). In practice, this means that the cur- coaches the subsidy was 1.4 cents and for taxisrent system would be able to increase the use of 6.8 cents.public transport by 10% by raising funding by Table 5: Public subsidy €/seat kilometre (Source: Pub-100%. Railway transport represents an anom- lic Performance Statistics 2007. Ministry of Transport andaly in the public transport system. The share of Communication)public funding has decreased by 4%, and the €/seat Rail- Bus, Taxi Publicpassenger volume has increased by 33%. kilo- way Coach Transport, metre average 2007 0,005 0,014 0,068 0,015Out of all the public transport forms, taxi trans-port receives the largest amount of support per The public-sector funding of public transportpassenger. The public subsidy received by all has clearly increased in the last decade. Eventhe taxis in the country is €4.91 per customer if the increase is standardised by taking infla-if the subsidy is divided evenly among all taxi tion into consideration, the general cost leveltransport. In reality, the share of the subsidy is has increased by approximately 50%. The in-small for instance in Helsinki and in its neigh- creases in the costs of the Centres for Econom-bouring areas, but in rural areas the share of ic Development, Transport and the Environ-the public subsidy may be two thirds of a taxi ment (State Provincial Offices) have gone ondriver’s total sales. the purchases of scheduled services and otherTable 4: Public subsidy €/passenger (Source: Public Per- direct subsidies of public transport. The costsformance Statistics 2007. Ministry of Transport and Com- of municipalities have grown due to the rapidmunication) increase in travel reimbursements. The eco- €/pas- Rail- Bus, Taxi Public senger way Coach Transport, nomic situation of municipalities is difficult all average over the country, and due to the high unem- 2007 0,91 0,68 4,91 1,24 ployment rate and a low dependency ratio, the municipalities of Eastern Finland are facing an even greater challenge.12
  13. 13. The service level of public transportand the responsibilities of thepublic sectorChanges, challenges, new legisla-tion and the EU service regulationsThis section covers the current state of Finnish The portion of the public transport services topublic transport and the changes that have tak- be financed by the public sector varies great-en place from the point of view of national leg- ly both regionally and between different formsislation and EU directives. Special emphasis is of transport. Nyberg’s work group14 finds thatplaced on how the renewed legislation and the the conditions for organising long-term publicorganisational changes affect the sustainable transport services are weak. One of the prob-organisation of public transport, particularly in lems of the current system is that subsidies arerural areas. The information presented in this determined based on budget years. This meanschapter is based on the new Finnish legisla- that the sustainable development of publiction concerning public transport, on reports by transport is not necessarily attained and thatwork groups of the Ministry of Transport and the system is prone to major fluctuations. Ad-Communications and on EU directives12. ditionally, the incoherence of the system has been an obstacle for the comprehensive plan-The work group led by Mikael Nyberg exam- ning of public transport.ined the current state of Finnish legislationconcerning public transport and the financing A new Public Transport Act based on the Reg-of public transport in the report Reviewing the ulation (EC) No 1370/2007 of the Europeansystem of funding for public transport13. The Parliament and Council was passed in Fin-work group comes to the conclusion that trans- land on 3 December 2009. The objective of theport planning should be widened and seen as regulation and the new act is to clarify the re-a comprehensive whole. There should be ex- sponsibilities of competent authorities organ-tensive co-operation, especially between au- ising public transport to ensure sufficient, se-thorities, municipalities and Regional Couci- cure and high-quality public passenger trans-ls. These parties prepare the service-level ob- port services 15.jectives of public transport together. As a newitem, the principle of the division of costs be- The Regulation of the European Parliamenttween the state and the municipalities was and Council and the new public-transport actadded to the Public Transport Act. are meant to clarify the work of authorities and to promote two of the service targets of pub- lic transport services: 1. increasing the use of public transport in urban districts and between cities and 2. securing the basic level of public transport across the entire country.12 Mainly (EC) No 1370/2007 14 Ministry of Transport and Communications 2, p. 9,13 Ministry of Transport and Communications 2, 2009 2009 15 Government bill on the new public transport act 2009 13
  14. 14. The basic level of public transport Discussion, problems detected, in-as the goal of the legislator ternational obligations and alter- native ideas for organising public transportWhen setting goals for the public transport sys- In its current state, the Finnish public trans-tem in rural areas, the basic level of transport is port system has many points that require de-constantly the subject of discussions. The basic velopment. The state of the system is analysedlevel of public transport can be seen to include quite critically in the introduction of the gov-the following16: ernment bill on the new public-transport act17.1. Inhabitants are able to use public The amount of funding and fare subsidies has transport for daily commuting, trav- grown significantly, but new customers have elling to their place of study and run- not been reached. The total passenger vol- ning errands between important serv- ume of bus and coach transport has decreased ice centres, municipal centres and by 3%. At the same time, the railway-trans- other large population centres and for port passenger volume has increased by over joining the national public-transport a quarter. network.2. Within municipalities, people who The Finnish State Provincial Offices have as- do not own a car should be able to sessed basic services in provinces annually. Ac- reach population centres at least twice cording to these assessments, the public trans- a week. port system has not been able to respond to the changes that have taken place in the oper-In North Karelia and in other sparsely populat- ational environment. Vehicle mileage has de-ed areas, these goals mean that investment is creased, and the market share of public trans-needed especially in functional, daily connec- port has fallen. In North Karelia, the regionaltions between population centres and munici- ticket system has partly controlled this devel-pal centres. Public transport should be made a opment. However, in rural areas the decliningreal option for commuters and for people run- population and in urban areas the decline ofning errands in their free time. For rural areas, the market share of public transport representthe service-level goal has been set at two days a threat to public-transport connections thata week. The current basic level of public trans- are reasonable at the moment18.port in rural areas does not enable use of pub-lic transport for commuting, studying or fortravelling to leisure activities in the evenings.The target group of basic-level public transportservices in rural areas includes households thatdo not possess a car.16 Ministry of Transport and Communications 2, p. 12, 17 Government bill on the new public transport act, 3 De-2009 cember 2009 18 Government bill on the new public transport act, 3 De- cember 2009, p. 1314
  15. 15. 3 Public Transport services in North Karelia – Current status 2010 3.1 General information about North Karelia Regional descriptions of the current state of Up to the end of 2008, the State Provincial Of- public transport services in four countries and fice of Eastern Finland was the local adminis- six areas have been carried out within the Ru- trative organ responsible for purchasing and ral Transport Solutions project between Janu- developing public transport services and for ary and June 2010. In North Karelia, the pub- ticket discounts. As the regional state admin- lic transport services of the entire region have istration was reformed, these responsibilities been examined at a general level, including in- were transferred to the Centre for Economic formation on the actions of different service Development, Transport and the Environment providers, financing, routes and passenger vol- for Pohjois-Savo. In 2010, the amount budg- umes. The report also includes information on eted for public transport services for the Cen- how inhabitants of the region and businesses tre for Economic Development, Transport and in the travel sector view the public transport the Environment in Pohjois-Savo is approxi- services and on what are the most important mately €8.6 million. The budget for the Centre areas for development. This information has for Economic Development, Transport and the been collected with the help of questionnaires Environment for Pohjois-Savo is distributed and discussions. The report includes a vast among the regions of Pohjois-Savo, Etelä-Savo amount of information regarding travelling to and North Karelia19. More detailed information work, housing and the potential accessibility of on the State Provincial Office funding of public public transport services. transport services can be found in the section of this publicationTable 6: Population and ageNorth Karelia 31.12.2009Population and age structure in structure in North Karelia 31.12.2009 concerning the over-(Source: Statistics of Finland) 0-14 yrs. % 15-64 % 65+ % Total all funding of FinnishJoensuu 10 935 15,0 49 759 68,4 12 010 16,5 72 704 public transport.Outokumpu 1 008 13,5 4 813 64,2 1 671 22,3 7 492Ilomantsi 689 11,4 3 623 60,2 1 710 28,4 6 022Kontiolahti 3 130 22,9 8 991 65,7 1 556 11,4 13 677Lipri 2 331 19,2 7 826 64,5 1 976 16,3 12 133Polvijärvi 695 14,4 3 051 63,3 1 075 22,3 4 821Joensu Region 18 788 16,1 78 063 66,8 19 998 17,1 116 849Lieksa 1 455 11,4 7 993 62,5 3 340 26,1 12 788Nurmes 1 114 13,0 5 334 62,2 2 125 24,8 8 573Juuka 781 13,7 3 507 61,5 1 417 24,8 5 705Valtimo 315 12,7 1 508 60,8 659 26,6 2 482Pielinen Karelia 3 665 12,4 18 342 62,1 7 541 25,5 29 548Kitee 1 256 13,4 6 017 64,0 2 128 22,6 9 401Kesälahti 324 13,2 1 449 58,9 687 27,9 2 460Rääkkylä 324 12,3 1 587 60,5 714 27,2 2 625Tohmajärvi 728 14,3 3 180 62,6 1 171 23,1 5 079Central Karelia 2 632 13,5 12 233 62,5 4 700 24,0 19 565North Karelia 25 085 15,1 108 638 65,5 32 239 19,4 165 962 19 Ministry of Transport and Communications 15
  16. 16. 3.2 The funding and different models of public transport services The costs of public transport services in North The overall transport costs of public transport Karelia vary significantly from municipality to and service transport in municipalities were municipality. Joensuu clearly has the lowest over €12.6 million in 200720. When comparing overall costs in the region. From the beginning costs, the age structure and housing structure of the year 2009, the municipalities of Eno and of municipalities and the availability of region- Pyhäselkä have also been part of Joensuu. In al regular transport services supporting the use Outokumpu, Lieksa and Tohmajärvi the annu- of municipal services should be taken into ac- al transport costs of public transport services count. In this sense, municipalities do not have are €70 - 80 per inhabitant. In proportion to equal resources for organising public transport the number of inhabitants, the greatest trans- services. port costs in North Karelia can be found in Rääkkylä, Juuka and Kontiolahti. School transport is by far the most expensive sector of transport services. Significant cost- Valtimo level differences can be found by examining theTohmajärvi costs of different branches of administration in Rääkkylä municipalities. For instance in Tohmajärvi, the transport costs of social services per inhabitantPyhäselkä are seven times greater than in Lieksa. Howev- Polvijärvi er, the open public-transport costs in Tohma-Outokumpu järvi are lower than in Lieksa. Based on the sta- Nurmes tistics, there are great discrepancies between Liperi the basic structures for organising public trans- Lieksa port services in different municipalities.Kontiolahti The costs of public-transport and service- Kitee transport services in municipalities have in- Kesälahti creased rapidly. The nominal costs have more Juuka than doubled since 1998, when delivering the Joensuu services came to €6.3 million. The real costs have increased by over €5.5 million since the Ilomantsi year 2000, taking general inflation into consid- Eno eration. Reasons for the rapid increase in the 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 cost of public-transport and service-transport Health Care Transit €/inhab. services include the general increase in price Social Transit €/inhab. levels, the closing down of village schools and School Transit €/inhab. Open public Transport €/inhab. the aging of the population. Public Transport costs €/inhab. Figure 4: Transport costs €/Inhabitant (Source: North- Savo Ely-Centre and municipalities of North Karelia 2008) 20 Health care transport costs not included. 16
  17. 17. Table 7: Public Transport costs for municipalities in North Karelia 2007 (Source: North-Savo Ely-Centreand municipalities of North Karelia 2008) Public Open School Social Health Care Total costs Transport public Transit Transit Transit € costs Transport €/inhab. €/inhab. €/inhab. €/inhab. €/inhab.Eno 72 4 59 9 4 476 654Ilomantsi 97 8 71 17 8 600 617Joensuu 38 8 21 8 3 2 182 602Juuka 136 6 95 35 25 795 011Kesälahti 109 3 75 31 0 283 097Kitee 94 12 53 28 22 899 095Kontiolahti 123 5 95 22 12 1 632 805Lieksa 82 17 56 9 30 1 078 643Liperi 85 2 58 25 11 1 018 524Nurmes 89 9 59 20 0 781 351Outokumpu 71 2 36 33 4 545 203Polvijärvi 97 9 70 18 5 477 720Pyhäselkä 95 1 74 19 12 736 121Rääkkylä 138 3 68 67 0 378 337Tohmajärvi 80 4 63 13 15 418 457Valtimo 100 3 76 21 0 254 322Total 12 558 559Average 94 6 64 23 9Table 8: Public Transport costs 1998–2007 (Source: North-Savo Ely-Centre 2009) Municipality Transport costs Transport costs € / inhab. 2007 €/inhab. 1998 Eno 46 72 Ilomantsi 62 97 Joensuu 19 38 Juuka 79 136 Kesälahti 65 109 Kiihtelysvaara 84 Annexed to Joensuu 1.1.2005 Kontiolahti 57 123 Lieksa 43 82 Liperi 52 85 Nurmes 32 89 Outokumpu 36 71 Polvijärvi 61 97 Pyhäselkä 58 95 Rääkkylä 70 138 Tohmajärvi 47 80 Tuupovaara 75 Annexed to Joensuu 1.1.2005 Valtimo 58 100 Värtsilä 38 Annexed to Tohmajärvi 1.1.2005 17
  18. 18. Transport costs have grown in all the munic- Public transport services inipalities of North Karelia during the last ten North Kareliayears. However, there have been great differ-ences in the growth rate of the costs. The costs The next section examines public transportof Nurmes have almost tripled during the pe- services in North Karelia, their target groupsriod under review, whereas in Ilomantsi the and operations models. Pielinen Karelia, thegrowth in costs has been much more moderate target area of the Rural Transport Solutions(+56%). The effects of inflation have not been project, is examined in its own section in moretaken into consideration in the calculations. detail. The detailed report for the Pielinen Kare-Despite the rapid growth in costs of the pub- lia sub-region and Juuka has been compiled atlic transport services in the various branches the Pielinen Karelia Development Centre.of administration of Nurmes, the municipalityhas organised its public transport at a cost that Regular scheduled services by different opera-is lower than the average for the region. Mean- tors form the base of the public transport sys-while in Rääkkylä, Juuka, Kesälahti and Konti- tem in the region. Regular services and expressolahti, public transport services were produced services constitute the majority of public trans-at a cost that is clearly higher than the average port services available to all users. Further in-for the region. formation on the routes covered by different operators, including population analyses, canKELA reimbursements of be found in the section on routes. The regu-travel costs lar services mainly serve the daily needs of in- habitants travelling between municipal centresOn a national level, Kela annually reimburses and to the provincial centre.travel costs of €215 million21 relating to treat-ment and examination. Over 4.9 million tripsare made annually using ambulances, taxis,wheelchair taxis and other unspecified vehi-cles. In North Karelia, the costs of treatment-related trips reimbursed by Kela are great-est outside the immediate neighbouring mu-nicipalities of Joensuu. The regional specialhealth-care functions are located in Joensuu,which means that trips are made from the re-gion to the municipal centre. The municipali-ties with the highest costs per inhabitant areJuuka, Valtimo and Rääkkylä: the reimburse-ments in all three municipalities are annuallyover €102/inhabitant22.21 Statistical Yearbook of the Social Insurance Institution158. 200822 Paltta, Päivi 38. 200818
  19. 19. The municipalities of North Karelia producestatutory and voluntary public-transport andservice-transport services. Statutory servicesinclude transport services in accordance withthe Social Welfare Act and the Act on Servic-es and Assistance for the Disabled presented in Public transport services (mainly special serv-the first chapter of this report and school trans- ices that need to be ordered in advance) open toport services according to certain conditions. all users are available in Nurmes, Juuka, Liek-According to Finnish legislation, rural munic- sa, Ilomantsi, Joensuu, Kontiolahti, Rääkkylä,ipalities and small towns are not required to Tohmajärvi, Kitee, Kesälahti and Polvijärvi.organise public transport. However, a majorpart of the municipalities of North Karelia pro- Service transport in municipalitiesvide public transport services. Different kinds (social welfare and health care)of transport services that can be ordered in ad-vance by the customer form one of the most Transport subsidies granted, based on socialcommon forms of open public transport of- welfare and disability, are controlled by legisla-fered. The idea of these services is that custom- tion24. Transport in accordance with these acts,ers contact the transport combination centre in addition to school transport, forms part ofor the service provider in advance when they the public transport services that municipali-know that they will need transport23. ties are obliged to provide by law. Individual municipalities, co-operation districts (Oku-Public transport from villages li), federations of municipalities and the pub-to the municipal centre lic utility Helli in Central Karelia are respon-(1 to 3 times a week) sible for social welfare and health-care service transport.The availability and practical arrangements oftransport services that need to be ordered in Grounds for granting a transport subsidy in ac-advance vary from municipality to municipal- cordance with the Social Welfare Actity, and in practice there is no common service (Joensuu)concept for providing the services. The Minis- • A transport subsidy may be grantedtry of Transport and Communications has set a for running errands and for recrea-general objective of two connections per week tional trips according to the limits setfor transport from sparsely populated areas to by the income and financial situationmunicipal centres. The frequency of transport of the customerservices varies from municipality to munici- • Customers over the age of 65, of lim-pality, but also within municipalities. In gen- ited means, who have an increasederal, the aim of the current transport system need for support are given priorityis to provide a service from the villages to the • Depending on the need, a maximummunicipal centre at least once a week. During of 8 one-way trips per month can beevenings, weekends and the summer-holiday grantedmonths, the availability of transport services is • A certain part of the fare will remainmuch more limited. the customer’s responsibility23 Usually the previous working day at the latest. 24 Social Welfare Act and Act on Services and Assistance for the Disabled 19
  20. 20. Grounds for granting a transport subsidy in ac- Since 1 August 2009, the transport combina-cordance with the Act on Services and Assist- tion centre has supplied approximately 4,800ance for the Disabled (Joensuu) service transport trips a month. Slightly less• A transport subsidy may be granted to than 60% of the trips organised by the trans- a severely disabled person port combination centre are made within Joen-• A social worker will make the deci- suu (including the former areas of Eno and Py- sion, and the customer will be in- häselkä). Outokumpu and Liperi come second formed of how many trips he or she in trip numbers. The number of trips made has has been granted per month increased steadily since the North Karelian transport combination centre has been intro-In North Karelia, there are two larger organisa- duced.tions that are responsible for service transportfor the social services and health-care depart- Before August 2009, the transport combina-ments, in addition to the municipalities. These tion centre was a larger entity that includedorganisations are the social and health service the Joint Municipal Authority for Medical andcentre Helli in Central Karelia and the North Social Services in North Karelia, the Town ofKarelian Transport Combination Centre (Poh- Kitee and Kela in addition to the current mu-jois-Karjalan matkojenyhdistelykeskus, MYK) nicipalities. Pyhäselkä municipality was notthat provides services in Joensuu, Kontiolahti, originally a member but became one after theLiperi, Nurmes and Outokumpu. consolidation of municipalities on 1 January 2009. At that time, the centre organised moreThe North Karelian Transport Combination trips, approximately 7,700 to 8,3oo per monthCentre is part of the organisation of the city in 2008 and 2009. If the revised organisationalof Joensuu25 and is mainly responsible for the structure and the parties now outside the cen-smooth running of transport services in its op- tre are taken into consideration, the number oferation area in accordance with the Social Wel- trips is at least at the same level if not slightlyfare Act and the Act on Services and Assist- higher.ance for the Disabled. Everyone who has beengranted a transport subsidy in accordance with According to the latest statistics, there werethe Social Welfare Act and the Act on Servic- 1,578 customers entitled to combination-cen-es and Assistance for the Disabled is entitled tre trips in different municipalities. Of theseto use service transport. The service is based customers, 625 made at least one trip peron customer orders and combining these or- month26. Special door-to-door transport serv-ders, which means that the combination cen- ices that can be ordered in advance within thetre plans routes based on the customers’ or- grid layout of Joensuu are also available fromders. Customers can call and request transport the North Karelian Transport Combinationservices on weekdays between 6.40 a.m. and Centre27. Transport is ordered via the transport5 p.m.. In the evenings and at weekends, the combination centre to the destination request-calls are directed to a taxi on duty. ed by the customer. The service provides acces- sible transport.25 1 August 2009 onwards 26 Social Welfare Act, Act on Services and Assistance for the Disabled and others (28 trips) 27 Kyytipoika20
  21. 21. School transport 3.3 Public transport services in North Karelia:Of all the transport services that municipal- Maps and Routesities are responsible for, school transport isthe most expensive cost item. It accounts for There are several forms of public transport in50 to 80% of the municipalities’ transport ex- use in North Karelia. There are several pro-penses. The costs of school transport have been viders of commercial public transport servicesitemized in the section covering the financing (hereafter the main scheduled transport net-of public transport services. The route infor- work). In addition to public transport that is fi-mation of school transport is included in the nanced by ticket sales, there are also servicesroute, population and availability analyses in supported by the Centre for Economic Devel-the next chapter. opment, Transport and the Environment due to their essential nature. These services mayThe regional base of school transport is formed have few passengers, or they may be otherwiseby the regular scheduled services of bus opera- unprofitable. This purchased transport mainlytors. These services are supplemented by serv- operates on the routes of the scheduled pub-ices purchased by the Centre for Economic De- lic transport network, but the purchased serv-velopment, Transport and the Environment ices are often the ones with the fewest passen-and by school transport services purchased by gers, such as evening and weekend services.the municipalities. School transport services In addition to bus transport, there is also railare mainly targeted at pupils whose daily trip transport in the region. A rail bus transportsto school exceeds five kilometres. passengers to the northern parts of the region between Joensuu, Lieksa and Nurmes. TheSchool transport that is organised using regu- bus also stops at Eno, Uimaharju and the vil-lar scheduled services is always part of the pub- lages of Vuonislahti, Kylänlahti, Höljäkkä andlic transport open to all users. School transport Kohtavaara. There is also a rail bus for thosepurchased from taxi and bus operators by the travelling west. Within the region, the bus onlymunicipalities may or may not be open to all stops at Viinijärvi. Those travelling south canusers. There may even be varying practices use Intercity or Pendolino trains. These trainswithin the services of one municipality. School stop at Kitee and Kesälahti and provide inhab-transport services that are regular scheduled itants of the region with an important connec-bus services are provided using the normal ve- tion to southern Finland.hicles. On routes purchased separately by mu-nicipalities, pupils are transported using vari- A clear majority of the population of Northous vehicles, including taxis and buses with ap- Karelia (approximately two thirds) lives in pop-proximately 20 seats. ulation centres. The largest city is the regional centre Joensuu, with approximately one third of the population of the region. Almost half of the population of the region lives within 20 kil- ometres of Joensuu. Thus, 25% of the popula- tion lives outside the Joensuu area (20 kilo- metres from Joensuu) and outside population centres. An examination of the population dis- tribution development between 1980 and 2005 reveals that in particular the population of the 21
  22. 22. Joensuu area has also grown outside popula- It is also worth noting that the populationstion centres, in villages and rural areas (see ta- of small population centres situated along-ble 9: Population development in North Kare- side main roads have also increased. In Pie-lia). Within the region, the population of the linen Karelia, in particular, the agglomerationsJoensuu area has grown. Meanwhile, the pop- alongside the main roads are notable, whereasulation of Pielinen Karelia and Central Karelia the more peripheral areas in the region are be-has decreased. Of the individual municipalities, ing left without inhabitants.only the populations of Kontiolahti and Liperihave grown besides the population of Joensuu, Thus, the population in North Karelia is de-and these two municipalities are situated near creasing and agglomerating but also aging atJoensuu. The rural population in the outer ar- an increasing rate. Public transport is a prereq-eas of the region has decreased (see Figure 4: uisite for stopping rural areas from becomingChange in population, 1980-2005). The same completely desolate. The services of rural areastrend is also visible in most of the other pop- must be secured. Reasonable opportunities forulation centres of the region. There are some travel and public transport are part of the com-exceptions to the rule: the population centres prehensive services of a municipality. The de-of Valtimo, Polvijärvi and Kesälahti have in- population of rural areas brings its own chal-creased their populations. lenges to public transport. POPULATION (2007)Table 9: Population development in North Karelia 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2007Joensuu 63 969 66 166 67 363 70 507 71 013 72 292 72 105Outokumpu 10 312 9 678 9 307 8 887 8 155 7 758 7 688Ilomantsi 8 753 8 469 8 054 7 832 7 129 6 422 6 203Kontiolahti 8 351 9 213 10 450 10 831 11 517 12 768 13 326Liperi 10 737 10 994 11 500 11 708 11 479 11 750 11 940Polvijärvi 6 167 6 006 6 001 5 730 5 411 5 008 4 931Joensuu region 108 289 110 526 112 675 115 495 114 704 115 998 116 193Lieksa 19 157 18 588 17 527 16 752 15 208 13 722 13 181Nurmes 1 155 11 419 10 944 10 718 9 781 9 151 8 816Juuka 7 875 7 617 7 317 7 065 6 583 6 034 5 832Valtimo 4 019 3 880 3 637 3 370 3 002 2 671 2 541Pielinen Karelia 42 601 41 504 39 425 37 905 34 574 31 578 30 370Kitee 11 374 11 461 11 350 11 058 10 412 9 795 9 611Kesälahti 3 172 3 192 3 164 3 071 2 871 2 667 2 596Rääkkylä 4 063 3 879 3 556 3 364 3 175 2 838 2 735Tohmajärvi 7 151 7 005 6 666 6 378 5 873 5 446 5 239Central Karelia 2 576 25 537 24 736 23 871 22 331 20 746 20 181North Karelia 176 650 177 567 176 836 177 271 171 609 168 322 166 74422
  23. 23. Figure 4: Change in population 1980–2005 23
  24. 24. 3.3 Population distribution and public transport routesAs has been described above, rural areas are Approximately 50% of the population livingbecoming more sparsely populated. Although outside population centres lives within 500this has been the prevailing trend for several metres of the routes of the scheduled transportyears, the need for public transport has not dis- network. Approximately 80% of the populationappeared. On a map, the public transport net- lives within two kilometres of the scheduledwork seems comprehensive. The routes also network. If the inhabitants of population cen-cover rural areas, and there are no major de- tres are included, 85% of the population livesfects in sight. However, the most peripheral ar- either within 500 metres of the network oreas are left without public transport services, within population centres. Only 6% of the pop-because it is simply not profitable to organise ulation lives more than two kilometres awaytransport in these areas. from the scheduled transport network or out- side population centres. Thus, the scheduledIn Pielinen Karelia, the population is agglom- network covers the inhabited areas of Northerated alongside main roads, whereas more pe- Karelia extensively.ripheral areas are mostly desolate. In the cen-tral and southern areas of the region, the popu- Despite these positive observations, an exam-lation is distributed more evenly, and desolate ination of the number of services reveals theareas do not exist. This can also be seen from truth about the status of public transport in ru-the service network which covers more rural ral areas. The largest number of services trans-areas than in the north. Nonetheless, there are ports people between population centres.no major differences in the population cover-age between areas. In general, it can be said Bus services between Joensuu and the larg-that most of the rural population is situated est population centres are the most frequent.near roads. In central Karelia, there are simply There are over ten daily services from Joen-more roads than in the north. A good quality suu to Lieksa, Outokumpu, Polvijärvi, Liperiroad network is essential to inhabitants nowa- and Kitee via Tohmajärvi. There are also manydays, which is why new housing is built near services to Ilomantsi, including services to Ki-roads. ihtelysvaara and Tuupovaara. There are also around ten daily services from Lieksa to Nur- mes and from Joensuu to Nurmes via Juuka. Population Table 10: Population coverage on public-transport network routes 0 - 14 years 15 - 65 years over 65 years TotalScheduled transport people % people % people % people %500 m buffer 4 668 53 17 790 53 4 852 51 27 310 532 km buffer 7 373 84 27 615 82 7 498 79 42 486 82Routes + Population 0 - 14 years 15 - 65 years over 65 years Totalcentres people % people % people % people %500 m buffer 852 km buffer 9424
  25. 25. Figure 5: Scheduled transport services 25
  26. 26. The daily connections between Nurmes and seats for school transport. For commuters, theKajaani are also frequent, but elsewhere the infrequent services are problematic. For thoseservices are limited to a couple of individual wanting to run errands, the infrequent servic-services. es could be suitable, but since the services of- ten run in the morning and in the afternoon,Between the largest population centres, some the time spent at the destination would oftenof the services are express services that follow become too long. Alternatively, the customermain roads and only stop in the population cen- would have to find another means of transporttres. These services are almost as quick as us- for the way there or the way back. Many feeling a private car. Some of the services also stop that the service is too infrequent if they have toalong the way and go along smaller roads, of- spend the whole day away.fering the possibility to use public transport tothose living further away from the main roads. In theory, there are many services suitable for commuters since almost all services run in theIndividual services are usually only oper- mornings and in the afternoons. In practice,ated on school days, up to four times a day. however, several connections are needed in or-On these routes, public transport is mainly der to make commuting flexible. These flexibleplanned around the timetables of school chil- routes only include the routes between Joens-dren for whom the municipality has purchased uu and other population centres with the larg-26
  27. 27. est number of services. If the criterion of over In addition to the number of services, anoth-six services a day is set for good daily connec- er problem that arises especially in rural are-tions, 70% of the working population in the re- as is the transport at weekends and during thegion lives in population centres or along routes summer. In Joensuu and between populationwith good connections. Approximately 20% of centres, services run every day all year round.the working population living outside popula- However, this is not the case in rural areas.tion centres lives along routes with good con- Many services disappear for the summer and atnections. Since a major part of the working weekends. The frequency of services decreasespopulation lives in population centres, which elsewhere as well, but travelling is still possi-also provide most of the jobs, public transport ble since not all services are cancelled. In ruralcould be used for commuting more often than areas, the disappearance of all services makesis currently the case. However, the problem is travelling challenging.the lack of direct connections from people’shomes to workplaces. In practice, many municipal centres are already poorly accessible to rural inhabitants since theRail transport supplements the bus services. number of services is so small. Moreover, whenThere are two daily railway services in both di- the funding of the Centres for Economic Devel-rections on the route from Joensuu to Nurmes opment, Transport and the Environment ends,via Lieksa. This service offers a good means many more services will be abolished. Theof transport since the rail bus stops at sever- services to be abolished are often rural servic-al local villages and supplements the local bus es, whose abolition further weakens the limitedtransport. For those travelling west, there are travelling possibilities and puts people in ruralfour services in both directions. The flaw on areas in an unequal position. In these cases, thethis route is that the only stop within the region objective of a reasonable opportunity to travelis Viinijärvi, but the bus connections from here is not attained, and people do not have equalare good to Joensuu and Outokumpu. opportunities to run their errands. No doubt there are also exceptions in rural areas. Par-For those travelling south, there are more than ticularly in villages situated by main roads andten daily train services that stop at Kitee and between population centres, there are good op-Kesälahti.There are also frequent bus services portunities for using public transport. Such vil-to Kitee, but from Kitee onwards the services lages include Ahmovaara and Viekijärvi, for in-are limited to one or two a day. The reason for stance.the limited number of bus services is probablythe railway transport that can take passengerssouthwards faster than the buses do. In otherwords, the railway connections from Kitee andKesälahti to Joensuu and to the southern partsof the country are good, but these trains do notstop elsewhere apart from Kitee and Kesälahti.This shortens the journey time from Joensuuto Helsinki but also weakens the transport pos-sibilities of those living by the railway. 27
  28. 28. Figure 6: Scheduled trasport during summer and at weekends28
  29. 29. The services that run in the summer and at travelling and running errands are depend- weekends only cover about a quarter of the ent on the special transport services provided population living outside population centres by municipalities. There are major differences but within 500 metres of the public transport between municipalities in the organisation of network. Within two kilometres of the trans- these services. Figure 7 presents the routes or- port network, the figure is 51%. During week- ganised by municipalities that are open to eve- days in the winter, the corresponding figures ryone. for public transport are 53% and 82%. Thus, in the summer and at weekends, public trans- The main scheduled transport network cov- port reaches far fewer people than in the win- ers populated areas rather extensively, so the ter. Most of the services that stop for the sum- routes specially organised by municipalities do mer and during holidays are rural services. not significantly affect the potential user vol- umes of public transport on a regional scale. Thus, the population coverage of the mainTable 11: Population coverage in the summer and at weekends public transport network and the special trans-Scheduled transport in the summer and at weekends port services organised by municipalities is people % only slightly greater than the population cov-500 m buffer 13 298 262 km buffer 26 202 51 erage of the main scheduled transport networkRoutes + Population centres alone. Nonetheless, the special transport serv-500 m buffer 126030 77 ices organised by municipalities are important2 km buffer 138934 84 in areas where the main scheduled transport network is not available or where it is difficult to use its services due to a physical disability, This fact affects the travel possibilities of all the for instance. inhabitants of the rural areas as well as tour- ists visiting the area and the accessibility of Most of the services from villages to popu- companies providing services to tourists. In lation centres only run once or twice a week, North Karelia, the main season for tourism is often in the daytime. In general, there are no the summer when most people are on holiday, special transport services in the evenings or but this is also when the public transport serv- at weekends. Only a couple of the services in ices are at their worst. In order to improve the the region run daily. The only exception is the situation, co-operation between different par- route between Koli and Joensuu, which has a ties is needed. This co-operation could lead to taxi service four times a day. Thus, the special a solution offering more comprehensive public transport services are only suitable for people transport in the summer and at weekends. who occasionally need transport. Within popu- lation centres, there are daily special transport According to the report, the scheduled trans- services. The routes on the map are indicative, port network in the rural areas of North Karelia as a customer can be collected from his or her is extensive in many areas. However, in real- front door if necessary. The route map mainly ity this is not the case, since services run infre- gives an idea of the areas where the vehicle is quently and there are few services in the sum- available. Further information is always avail- mer and at weekends. Thus, in rural areas, in- able from the operator. habitants wanting to use public transport for 29
  30. 30. Figure 7: Local transport services30