Minister Harakka at the fourth Public Transport Forum: There are many ways to recover from the COVID-19 crisis

Press release 28.10.2021 08.10 fi sv en

Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka (Photo: Laura Kotila / VNK)

On 25 October 2021, the Ministry of Transport and Communications organised a Forum for the passenger transport sector for the fourth time. The aim of the Forum is to share information from the authorities and discuss the best practices among both large and small transport service providers.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of public transport passengers fell drastically, which has had a significant impact on the financial situation of the sector. As society is opening up and recovery starts, it is essential to get the passenger volumes in public transport back to a growth path while ensuring the safety of travel.

“Safety remains the top priority in the minds of passengers. Once the level of trust is high, the demand for transport services starts to grow again. There are a number of ways to boost the recovery process,” Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka said at the Forum.

Improved service level will bring back passengers

Speakers at the Forum addressed the recovery theme from the perspective of different public passenger transport operators and discussed measures to strengthen the growth of demand.

With the lifting of restrictions, people will start using services again and with the removal of the recommendation on remote work, people will return to work in an office more. These are expected to increase the number of public transport passengers. However, it is expected to take years before the passenger numbers return to pre-pandemic levels.

The participants addressed the changes in travel trends and discussed, among other things, the impact of increased remote work on the service demand and supply. They shared examples of successful ticket campaigns and the operators emphasised the importance of common, positive messages for the process of recovering from the COVID-19 crisis.

“I’ve been glad to note that everyone in the sector has paid attention to the customer experience. I believe that the level of service provided to passengers has improved. We want to show our support and will start a national public transport campaign next week to welcome passengers back to enjoy safe trips to work and services,” says Minister Harakka.

Inquiries:

Requests to interview Minister Timo Harakka: Virpi Komulainen, Communications Specialist. tel. +358 50 464 7684, virpi.komulainen@gov.fi