Vantaa City Council decided: Vantaa to build the light rail
Vantaa City Council decided in its meeting on May 22 on building Vantaa’s first light rail. Building the light rail can begin in the fall of 2024, and traffic is estimated to begin in 2029.
Vantaa light rail is approximately 19 kilometers long, traveling from the Helsinki-Vantaa airport through Jumbo shopping mall and Tikkurila to Hakunila and from Hakunila through Länsimäki to Mellunmäki subway station. The rail traffic connection is part of the metropolitan area's light rail as well as Vantaa’s first light rail line. When building the light rail, the street areas along the route will undergo thorough changes, affecting lanes, bike lanes, pedestrian crossings, and green areas.
Vantaa City Council decided to build the light rail after voting on the issue: 41 votes for and 26 against building the light rail.
The city council submitted several protocol statements as instructions for building the light rail. The protocol statements were entered into the minutes.
Building the light rail costs Vantaa €414 million
The total cost of building Vantaa light rail amounts to €606 million, of which the City of Vantaa's share is €414. The aim is that the state MAL (land use, housing and traffic) subsidy covers 30% of the total costs, in other words, approximately €177 million. Negotiations on Helsinki Region’s MAL agreements are currently going on. The state financing share is expected to be confirmed in early fall 2023. Compliant with the city council’s decision, building the light rail can only start after the state’s financing share has been confirmed.
The building costs are financed by a loan, which means that the costs will be spread over a long period of time. The light rail is estimated to generate revenues to Vantaa already in its building phase. Real estate revenues—that is, revenues from selling and leasing land as well as compensations for land use—will cover the building costs in the long run. The revenues are estimated to amount to €794 by 2050. In addition, the light rail will generate tax revenues that will be used to cover the services provided by the growing city. The tax revenues arising from new residents and jobs are estimated to cover the increasing service costs.
“The light rail is an investment into Vantaa's future. It will interconnect our regions and enable sustainable growth by developing the existing urban structure. Vantaa’s economy is on solid ground. Our loan portfolio is at its lowest in more than ten years, and the resident-specific loan portfolio falls below the national level as well as the average of the big cities. We can afford to take loan to implement the light rail and, at the same time, continue with our other building investments: schools, daycare centers, streets, and parks in various parts of Vantaa. We will invest around €130 million in building the light rail, and we can continue this investment level also during the time the light rail is being built,” comments mayor Ritva Viljanen.
Like other light rail projects in Finland, Vantaa light rail is implemented by means of the alliance model. Before construction begins, tendering will take place from fall 2023 to spring 2024, after which construction can begin. Traffic will start after the five-year building and testing phase in 2029.
The light rail interconnects urban centers and enables Vantaa's growth
Vantaa’s aim is to grow in a sustainable manner and to place the city's growth along strong mass transit connections. Vantaa's local master plan defines the route of the light rail as the city’s most important growth direction in the decades to come: 60,000 new residents and 30,000 new jobs could arise along its route.
The light rail will include Hakunila in rail transit and support the development of Hakunila and Länsimäki centers, as well as the development of Fazerila and Vaarala workplace areas. The light rail will bolster Tikkurila Railway Station as a mass transit hub and further the center’s expansion toward Jokiniemi and Väritehdas. In Aviapolis, the light rail will improve internal mass transit and accessibility of workplaces. Jumbo-Flamingo, one of Finland’s busiest shopping and entertainment centers, will become more easily accessible by mass transit. As the urban structure becomes more versatile, everyday transacting trips will become shorter and local services more accessible.
Vantaa light rail in figures
Length: 19.3 km (of which 500 meters situated in Helsinki) Stops: 27
Schedule during rush hours: 7.5 minutes, otherwise: 10-20 minutes
Average distance between stops: 800 meters
Top speed: 70 km/h
Service hours: 04:30–01:30
Capacity: 174 passengers per car
Daily passengers in 2030: around 31,000
Building costs: €606 million, of which Vantaa's share is €414 million
Urban development: 60,000 new residents and 30,000 new jobs
Building schedule: 2024–2029
Traffic begins: 2029
Voting results: 41 in favor, 26 against
Those in favor:
Antti Lindtman, Sakari Rokkanen, Sari Multala, Carita Orlando, Anita Orpana, Anssi Aura, Otso Kivimäki, Minna Erkkilä, Oskari Iivarinen, Siri Ahokas, Manav Phull, Heli Hakala, Eve Rämö, Tuire Kaimio, Hanna Valtanen, Siru Kauppinen, Patrik Karlsson, Mikko Viilo, Tia Seppänen, Tuomas Mutanen, Reija Friman, Eva Tawasoli, Minna Räsänen, Tarja Eklund, Säde Tahvanainen, Naima el Issaoui, Ida Tamminen, Jussi Särkelä, Faysal Abdi, Mari Hynninen, Antero Eerola, Jari Jääskeläinen, Ulla Kaukola, Ranbir Sodhi, Sirkka-Liisa Kähärä, Kimmo Kiljunen, Funda Demiri, Minttu Sillanpää, Anu Hall, Pirkko Letto, Hussein Al-Taee
Mika Kasonen, Lauri Kaira, Lasse Norres, Maarit Raja-Aho, Mika Niikko, Niilo Kärki, Markku Weckman, Kai-Ari Lundell, Pekka Virkamäki, Erika Veltheim, Tanja Aidanjuuri, Janne Hartikainen, Suvi Karhu, Susanna Kaiju, Katja Siniketo-Pietilä, Paula Lehmuskallio, Mild Dehghan, Juha Suoniemi, Juha Järä, Stefan Åstrand, Pirjo Luokkala, Tiina Tuomela, Nina Nummela, Eeva Tikkanen, Jouko Jääskeläinen, Marjo Vacker.