FINLAND: Vantaa council has backed the development of a tramway in the city, which is part of the Helsinki capital area.
The council voted 41:26 in favour of the project on May 22.
The line would run for 19·3 km from Helsinki-Vantaa Airport to the Jumbo shopping centre, Tikkurila, Hakunila and Länsimäki, terminating at Mellunmäki metro station; around 500 m of the route would be within the Helsinki city boundary.
There would be 27 stops, and the project would include new facilities for cyclists and pedestrians as well as parks.
Opening is envisaged for 2029. Services would operate between 04.30 and 01.30, with trams every 7½ min in the peaks and every 10 to 20 min off-peak.
Daily ridership is estimated at 31 000.
The cost of construction is put at €606m, a 57% rise on a 2019 estimate. Vantaa would contribute €414m and Helsinki €10·5m, with the national government making up the remainder of the costs.
The city expects funding to be confirmed later this year, enabling a call for tenders with contracts to be awarded in spring 2024.
Supporters of the scheme said the new tramway in Tampere has been a success, and the Vantaa project could attract 60 000 new residents and 30 000 jobs to the area, with the resulting increase in land values helping to fund the tram investment.