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Emma statue at the Tapiola metro station. Picture: Saija Räsänen

The metro extension from Ruoholahti to Matinkylä will open to passenger service on Saturday, November 18, 2017. Passenger service will begin on Saturday morning. The first train on the new section of line will leave from Matinkylä to Vuosaari at 5:09. This is the first phase of opening the West Metro (Länsimetro) that once fully completed will run from Ruoholahti to Kivenlahti. “The Helsinki metro operator HKL has informed us that it is now possible to start metro service to Matinkylä. It is great to finally be able to provide rail services also in South Espoo and Lauttasaari,” said Suvi Rihtniemi, executive director of HSL, in a bulletin. “Now that all defects have either been fixed or are due to be fixed in the next few days and the other criteria have been met, our prerequisites to start passenger service have been met,” said Ville Lehmuskoski, managing director of HKL.

HKL will continue the preparations for the opening of the new metro line next week. In addition, test runs on the full length of the metro line will continue until the beginning of passenger service. The metro will operate on two lines: Matinkylä-Vuosaari and Tapiola-Mellunmäki. In the east, every other train goes to Vuosaari, every other to Mellunmäki as at present. In Espoo, every other train will turn around at Tapiola and every other will continue to Matinkylä.

Lauttasaari metro station. Picture: M. Wirman

On the shared section of line between Tapiola and Itäkeskus, the metro will run every 2.5 minutes. During the daytime Monday through Friday as well as on Saturdays, trains will run approximately every four minutes. On Sundays and at other times, trains will run every five minutes on the shared section of the line. There will be no other changes to HSL public transport services next Saturday when metro services to Matinkylä start operating. Buses in Lauttasaari and Espoo will continue to run as at present until January 2, 2018.

Matinkylä metro station. Picture: Maija Wirman

From January 3 2018, buses running along Länsiväylä to Kamppi will be replaced by feeder services to metro stations and completely new bus routes will be introduced in South Espoo. In Lauttasaari, all bus routes will either terminate at Lauttasaari metro Station or run via the station. In addition, there will be changes to bus services in Lehtisaari, Kuusisaari and Kauniainen. From January 3, regional buses from Kirkkonummi will terminate at Matinkylä bus terminal. “For about 1.5 months, the metro and current bus routes will be operating to Matinkylä side by side. This gives passengers time to get used to the new transport link and allows us to ascertain its performance before introducing the new bus routes,” Rihtniemi said.