“Vantaa light rail's traffic impacts” report completed



Urban planningTransport

The report analyzes how urban development affects traffic flexibility. The number of travels by foot, by bike, and by public transport will double by 2050.

Havainnekuva vantaan ratikasta Vaaralassa Hakuninilantiellä Kirkkokujan läheisyydessä.

Vantaan ratikan liikenteelliset vaikutukset (“Vantaa light rail's traffic impacts”) report is completed. The report analyzes how urban development affects traffic flexibility. The impacts were analyzed in the area covered by the disposition plan, which is a zone consisting of the light rail stops within around 800 meters.

The report assesses the traffic impacts during the year light rail traffic begins, as well as in the long run when the land-use potential of the area has been fully completed and the impacts can be seen in their entirety. The years of analysis are 2030, 2040, and 2050. The impacts are described as changes compared with the present situation. The forecasts are based on land use compliant with the disposition plan and the wider regional development compliant with the MAL (land use, housing and traffic) plan.

The traffic forecast model accounts for the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on mobility and traffic. The model is based on Helsinki Region Transport's (HSL) report Muuttuvat liikkumisen tarpeet (“Changing mobility needs”) report (2021), as well as on its results concerning generalization of teleworking. The report was compiled by WSP Finland Oy.

Number of residents in the disposition plan area will double, while labor accessibility will increase

The disposition plan for the light rail is based on compact land use along the light rail, and the number of both residents and jobs will significantly increase compared with the current situation. The number of residents in the disposition plan area will more than double compared with the current situation, and in the long run, it will amount to around 125,000 residents in 2050. Likewise, the number of jobs in the long run will increase by around 60% compared with the current situation; according to forecasts, there will be around 84,000 jobs in the area in 2050.

An increasing number of residents will settle in the vicinity of the job areas in the future, thanks to the impacts of the disposition plan, which positively affects the development of labor accessibility. Labor accessibility describes how many residents can be accessed from the perspective of each job. Moreover, the light rail will contribute to an enhanced level of public transport services, which will bring other residential areas in the region closer to the jobs.

“Compared with other regions, labor accessibility in the disposition plan area is currently below the average, but future development will make it increase faster than that in the Helsinki region. The light rail will have positive impacts on both businesses and employees. New residents need new services and businesses; in other words, there is demand for business, and on the other hand, the light rail will make it easier for the employees to get to their workplaces,” says project director Tiina Hulkko.

The number of travels by foot, by bike, and by public transport will double by 2050

The total of travels departing from the disposition plan area will increase by around 80% compared with the current situation in the long run. The increase in the travels is, however, based on walking, cycling, and public transport, whereas the number of car drives will increase more moderately. The number of travels by foot, by bike, and by public transport will double by 2050 compared with the current situation, whereas the number of travels by car will increase by 35%. The number of passengers of the light rail are being examined. The traffic prognosis will be completed at a date closer to the investment decision.

Despite the big increase in car travel, the number of private-car kilometers is not forecast to increase in the same ratio. Travels in a compact city are shorter. The share of car traffic will also decrease to a  significant extent, from 51 percent to 38 percent.

“Vantaa aims to increase sustainable mobility, and Vantaa light rail as well as urban development of the light rail disposition plan will bolster it,” Hulkko adds.

Private-car emissions are forecast to diminish significantly, mainly due to the estimated replacing of private cars with electric cars.

Congestion increases, but no delays in light rail travel

As a result of the increase in the land use disposition plan, the number of car travels will inevitably increase, which will also impact the traffic volumes and functioning of the street network. Speeds will fall during the most congested afternoon hour. Congestion will only affect a small part of the street and road network, but delays will increase in the congested areas.

Problems due to increased traffic volumes may occur, in particular, on Tikkurilantie, Kyytitie, and Länsimäentie where the traffic volumes will greatly increase in ratio to the street capacities by 2050.

“In practice, there will be more and more congestion, unless we develop public transport and make the urban structure more compact. The light rail has a dedicated track of its own, which is why it will not suffer any delays.”

Familiarize yourself in more detail with the report online at: Vantaa light rail's Selvityksiä ja aineistoja.


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