The West Metro will not begin operating on 15 August. The Board of Directors of Länsimetro Oy decided on Friday 10 June to postpone the opening of the new line due to a hold-up in the safety testing of the technical systems.
“The construction of the West Metro is a long process. Test runs of all systems are done at the end of the process, just before opening the line. The test runs have proven to be more demanding than we expected,” says the CEO of Länsimetro Oy, Matti Kokkinen. “The opening of the line to passenger traffic must be postponed until we have a safe and functioning Metro line available. It is extremely unfortunate that this inevitably causes significant inconvenience. However, safety is the top priority.”
HSL redesigs bus routes
No new date for the opening of the line has yet been announced. All technical systems must be tested and after the testing is complete, authorities must approve the Metro line’s facilities, systems and equipment before the line can be opened.
“We are extremely sorry for all inconvenience caused to passengers,” says HSL Executive Director Suvi Rihtniemi.”We are now starting to plan bus routes for Espoo and Lauttasaari for the duration of the delay, which may be months.”
In any case, bus routes in Espoo and Lauttasaari change on 15 August and HSL will redesign the new route network to provide replacement bus services from South Espoo, Lauttasaari and Kirkkonummi to Helsinki. HSL is now starting to plan the routes and timetables and information about the new routes will be provided to passengers later during the summer. On the coastal line, trains will be operated with extra carriages at peak times from mid-August.
Unfortunately, bus services from South Espoo and Lauttasaari will not be as extensive as at present because the new routes have already been tendered and the contracts have been signed.
It is not possible to operate the current routes after 14 August because most of the current contracts with operators terminate at the end of the summer timetable season.
“We will do everything we can so that people would be able to travel as conveniently as possible also from South Espoo, Lauttasaari and Kirkkonummi,” says Rihtniemi.