National campaign encourages people to return to public transport
The national #TaasMennään (#LetsGoAgain) public transport campaign, carried out through inter-authority collaboration, will begin on Friday 5 November 2021. The purpose of the campaign is to encourage passengers to return to public transport.
The campaign is in response to the collapse in passenger numbers during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom, the number of passengers on public transport is still an average of 30–40 per cent below the 2019 level. Of the different types of travel, recreational travel has seen the strongest recovery this year, and since the recommendation on remote work was lifted in October, commuter traffic is also expected to increase. That said, it may be years before passenger numbers return to pre-pandemic levels.
“It is important to restore people’s trust in public transport, as this will help to increase the number of passengers. During the pandemic, the authorities and public transport operators worked in close cooperation to ensure health security in transport. I am pleased that the industry is working to improve customer experiences even further. We wanted to show our support with a campaign encouraging passengers to return to public transport for safe journeys to work or during their free time,” says Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka.
For the time being, the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare recommends the use of face masks in public transport throughout the country. Face masks are especially recommended during peak hours and when transport vehicles are crowded. Transport service providers must continue to ensure that measures are in place to safeguard health security. This includes making sure passengers have the possibility to maintain good hand hygiene, for example.
“When using public transport, everyone can do their part to ensure health security by getting vaccinated against COVID-19, wearing a mask and maintaining a safe distance from others whenever possible. This way, we can make sure that the risk of transmission in public transport remains low. If you are feeling sick or congested, you should naturally avoid crowds and stay home until you are feeling better,” says Mika Salminen, Director of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare.
The #TaasMennään campaign is a joint effort of the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom, the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency and the Finland Forward communications team at the Prime Minister’s Office. The idea for the campaign came from a series of discussion forums held remotely in summer 2020, where the Minister of Transport and Communications met with public transport operators. This led to a first campaign to support health-secure public transport shortly thereafter. This new public transport campaign is a continuation of the one launched in summer 2020.
The #TaasMennään campaign will be visible in a variety of different communication channels – online, on the radio and on social media. Anyone can share their public transport stories and pictures on social media using the campaign hashtag #TaasMennään.
Susanna Niinivaara, Director of Communications, tel. +358 40 081 6187, firstname.lastname@example.org