The Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom has decided to limit the maximum permitted number of passengers to half in public transport in Helsinki region.Photograph: Tony Öhberg/Finland Today

Helsinki Regional Transport Authority (HSL) will limit the number of passengers to half in the region of the Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District (HUS) beginning on Saturday (March 27). The restriction will remain in force until April 25.

The restriction will apply to all HSL transport services, excluding passengers born in or after 2008 traveling during weekdays. If students in grades 7–9 return to in-person learning, HSL would extend this exception to passengers born in or after 2005 on weekdays.

Currently, because of the coronavirus pandemic, the occupancy rate on public transport in Helsinki is on average less than 20% of the maximum capacity and on most services, the occupancy rate is clearly under the 50% limit. For example, on the metro, the highest occupancy rate measured this week has been about 28%.

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“We encourage passengers to avoid non-essential travel during the busiest times. If you can, please travel at quiet times,” HSL noted in a statement.

The busiest times on weekdays, according to HSL, are currently between 15:00 and 18:00 in the afternoon and between 07:00 and 09:00 in the morning peak.

The maximum capacity of HSL’s vehicles consists of seating and standing capacities. For example, a bus is considered 50% full when the number of passengers equals the number of seats.

Here’s a list on vehicles with the maximum number of passengers when the capacity is capped at 50%:

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Metro train: about 350 passengers

Commuter train, one unit: about 300 passengers

Artic tram: about 100 passengers

Articulated tram: about 80 passengers

Bus, 3 axles: about 60 passengers

Bus, a larger 2-axle bus: about 45 passengers

Bus, a smaller 2-axle bus: about 40 passengers

Neighborhood bus (minibus): 10 passengers

Suomenlinna Ferry: 180 – 190 passengers

We publish the latest occupancy rate figures on this page