Bus, Ferry, Train or Tram?

7 Jun

Which one to use to get where you are going? It depends! For instance if I want to be somewhere in a hurry I’ll take the metro. Now, it is not the world’s most extensive network as you can see. However, it will deliver me to the city centre from Herttoniemi in about 15 minutes. In winter the only concession for the weather is that the doors don’t open automatically after the temperature drops below -10 degrees celsius from memory. (I’ve had no luck verifying that fact.)

From a commuting point of view, many of the cities buses terminate at a metro station or they stop close by. Yesterday I took the 14B from the harbour area that delivered me to Meilahti Hospital on the other side of the city. The bus had filled well before we reached Kamppi metro station, where the bulk of the passengers hopped off. We continued towards the hospital past ‘the rock church‘ and close by one of my new favourite shops – it’s a café (or is it a yoghurt bar?) that sells frozen yoghurt and I’m looking forward to writing about him in the very near future.

Helsinki buses parked outside National Theatre
(Image courtesy http://it.wikipedia.org)

My bus-pass tipped to the floor of the 14B and luckily I noticed before the bus had continued back towards the harbour. A fellow passenger had handed it to the driver and he returned it to me no questions asked! Bus-pass in hand I continued to Tukholmankatu (Stockholm’s street). This road is extremely busy and as a major arterial road to the western part of Helsinki. Naturally there are plenty of buses. Most head to the centre, there are a few lines that head to the east. The number 58 is an old favourite. Sometime it is quicker and easier to take the bus, especially when heading west. On of the good things about the 58 is that it stops at Pasila. Here it’s possible to catch a local, national or international train. Pasila is quite high compared to the rest of Helsinki, so here the radio and television stations are headquartered. Here too, is a rabbit warren of government and office buildings.

The 58 terminated at Itäkeskus. Metro, bus station and also the shopping centre, now officially known by its colloquial name Itis. Along with the new ‘old’ name has come a major renovation project. Shops are shutting, moving, reopening. It’s very hectic there at the moment. I should have checked before I went. The place I was planning on visiting is closed for renovation and will reopen at the of next week.

Metro train at Kulosaari metro station
(Image courtesy http://fi.wikipedia.org)

Metro and a short bus trip had me home again in 20 minutes.

Yesterday’s travels didn’t involve trams or ferries. Don’t despair I will be featuring them in the near future. I read this morning that Helsinki city has new trams on order (unfortunately it appears they won’t be on the tracks until 2014) and they are on display from this weekend.

Public transport case – highly reflective

The all important card. To borrow from a certain credit card supplier ‘don’t leave home without it’

I’ll leave you with an interesting bus fact: the Helsinki bus route numbers indicate the postcode of the area the buses travel to or from!

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4 Responses to “Bus, Ferry, Train or Tram?”

  1. Jennifer 07/06/2012 at 11:38 #

    The postcoded bus numbers… They would be good in Tassie, although I’m sure most people don’t know them well enough.

    • Kanerva 07/06/2012 at 13:10 #

      True, it’s a nice thing to tell though! It’s one of my favourite Helsinki trivia bits!

  2. El Guapo 07/06/2012 at 15:25 #

    Sounds like a pretty good system. Between the buses and trains, is the entire city covered?

    • Kanerva 17/06/2012 at 09:17 #

      Pretty well, yes if we are talking Helsinki city. Now comes a new post about the greater Helsinki area.

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