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Metro workers complain of toilet shortage on extension

Helsinki Metro staff are facing problems with wing mirrors, air conditioning and a lack of toilets on the newly-extended network.

metron kyltti
The Helsinki Metro extension opened on 18 November. Image: Marja Väänänen / Yle

A lack of toilets, small wing mirrors and poor air conditioning are hampering staff working on the Helsinki Metro extension, reports the magazine published by the public sector JHL union.

The problems could at worst, threaten passenger safety, claims the union. Metro drivers have to check their mirrors to ensure passengers are not stuck in the doors, but the small mirrors mean some of the time drivers can't see everything.

Staff have also criticised the poor air conditioning and the seats in drivers' cabs on the trains.

Ville Lehmuskoski, CEO of Metro operator HKL says that when the Metro expansion was first designed, the trains were intended to be driverless. The drivers' cabs were added later. Lehmuskoski says that the trains will be updated.

One particularly inconvenient defect of the extension into Espoo is the distance from the trains to the nearest toilet at the terminus station, Matinkylä. Drivers have to walk 400 metres and travel up in a lift if they want to answer nature's call, with the return journey clocked by the union at between 20 and 25 minutes.

"It's a basic requirement of a person at work that they can get to the toilet," said Lehmuskoski. They can get to the toilet now, but they have to walk a few hundred metres."

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