Published on Kaleva Magazine 24th May 2021 (in Finnish)

Passenger numbers were increasing in Oulu until the drop last year due to COVID-19 pandemic. As soon as we have tackled the pandemic, it’s time to invest in public transport and continue the good trajectory of past years. The Oulu region needs efficient public transport to grow.

People choose the mode of transport which is quick and easy for them. We can use traffic planning and new routing to reduce travel times, and developing the information systems and payment methods will make it easier to use public transport. Contactless payment in buses will be taken into use in the autumn already.

Pricing has a great influence in the use of public transport. Let’s make bus tickets more attractive and grow ticket revenue through it. Public transport should be affordable, especially for those who travel by bus regularly. This means that the monthly pay for a travel card should be cheaper when you buy it for a longer period of time. The municipalities in the Oulu region need to simplify the current four-zone ticket system so that public transport will be a truly attractive option for everyone living in the region.

The time of the pandemic challenges accustomed business and pricing models. I would like to see services based on monthly payment and on the principles of platform economy in Oulu which would combine public transport, a functioning city bike system and cheaper taxi journeys within Oulu. Many people already consume services based on monthly payment such as Spotify and Netflix and the same business model is also suitable for transport.

Opportunities for the growth of public transport on bus travels alone are limited. Oulu must commit to organise commuter train services and efficient public transport systems (tramway or super bus). Rail transport will increase the vibrancy of the whole region and direct new construction around the stations.

Aino-Kaisa Manninen
Vice Chair of the Section for Public Transportation in Oulu area
Candidate in the Municipal Elections in Oulu (Greens)