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R-kioski slaps service charge on Helsinki transport tickets

Those travelling by bus, train, tram or metro will pay a service fee if they get their ticket at the kiosk chain.

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HSL tickets are still service-charge free from other outlets. Image: Jyrki Lyytikikä / Yle

The ubiquitous R-kioski chain has begun to charge a service fee for Helsinki local transport tickets sold at its stores.

As of 1 January, the company started charging a 3.5 percent service charge to top-up a travel card with a monthly ticket.

Adding credit to a stored-value ticket will cost a euro each time a customer does so, while single tickets will set passengers back an extra 20 cents or 40 cents each time, depending on the cost of the ticket.

The yellow and blue-branded retailer says it started charging the fees because HSL, the regional transport authority, no longer pays a commission on tickets sold by third parties.

The R-kioski fees can be avoided by buying tickets from HSL service points, via the HSL app, or using ticket machines.

HSL is a co-operative venture by nine municipalities in the Helsinki region that is responsible for public transport services throughout the area. It does not own rolling stock itself but instead uses third-party contractors to operate services.

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