A working group appointed by the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Finland suggests that construction of a rail line from the city centre of Helsinki to Helsinki-Vantaa airport be started in 2008.
The new link would offer the annual 12 million air passengers a rail connection to the airport. The working group estimates that the improved public transport connections could create a basis for new housing districts of 40,000 people, and could bring about 60,000 jobs to Vantaa. The rail connection would become operational in 2013 at the earliest.
The working group suggests that the costs for the construction be divided between the State, which would pay around 70-75%, and the City of Vantaa, which would pay around 25-30%.
The working group is of the opinion that the most cost-efficient way to finance the project would be through the State budget. For example public-private partnership would not be beneficial because of strict technical regulations that govern rail construction. The group saw no particular benefits in a special public project company either.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Policy has taken a positive stance on the rail project. Ms Susanna Huovinen, Minister of Transport and Communications, stresses the importance of improving public transport connections in the Helsinki metropolitan area that is likely to suffer from congestion in the future.
“The new rail line would make trips to work, schools and shops easier and it would open up possibilities for housing production in the Helsinki metropolitan area. It would also provide a badly needed rail connection to Finland’s most important airport”, she says.
”I feel confident that the next Government will take a decision to implement the project before the end of this year.”
The Ministry of Transport and Communications appointed a working group to look into project models applicable to the new section of rail line in June 2006. The group examined, among other things, construction costs, operating guidelines, and impacts on the housing policy in the Helsinki metropolitan area.
Mr Mikko Ojajärvi, Director of Infrastructure Unit,
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