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Helsinki area transit still crippled by strike during evening rush hour

On Friday afternoon, only a quarter of buses were running in the capital region. Taxis are not accepting advance orders.

Pääsy Kampin metroasemalle on estetty nauhoin Helsingissä.
Commuters could not access the metro station in Kamppi, downtown Helsinki. The area was cordoned off from the public. Image: Martti Kainulainen / Lehtikuva

Friday’s political strike by the main SAK labour federation will hamper Helsinki’s public transport until Saturday morning.

Helsinki Region Transport (HSL) estimates that about the same number of buses are in operation on Friday afternoon as in the morning, or roughly one in four.

A walkout by Metro and tram operators is set to continue until Saturday morning.

Local and long-distance trains and the ferry to Suomenlinna island are operating normally. State Railways VR warns that commuter trains are likely to be more crowded than usual on Friday afternoon and evening.

Taxis can’t keep up with demand

Cab operator Taksi Helsinki announced early Friday that it was not accepting any more advance reservations for the afternoon rush hour period, between 2 and 6 pm.

Lähitaksi, a dispatch centre for the greater capital region, also says it is not accepting pre-bookings for departures from Helsinki. Its cabs are running normally elsewhere in the Uusimaa region, although waiting times may be longer than usual.

The national SAK strike ends at 6 pm on Friday. However there will still be disruptions in capital region Metro and tram service next week due to an ongoing overtime ban imposed by the Trade Union for the Public and Welfare Sectors (JHL).

Most underground and tram drivers are JHL members. As a result some departures will be cancelled beginning on Monday.

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