As Finland proceeds towards the renewal of its transport code, the first phase of which was approved with the passing of a new Act on Transport Services in the spring of 2017, the country’s transportation operators, authorities, and regulators are engaged in a wide-spanning discussion on the implications of future transportation services. With the new Act, set to come into force July 1st, 2018, Finnish transportation authorities aim to be among the first in the world to enact legislation that will enable the formation of new transportation solutions, including Mobility as a Service concepts. The Transport Services Act lays the necessary groundwork for the introduction of new services as well as the digitalization of transport by opening up legislation to allow for open competition and multiple operators among private as well as public sectors.

Proceeding in stages, the Act’s first deadline will see the introduction of new provisions regarding intelligent transport systems in the beginning of October 2017, while the most significant changes will come at the turn of the year as data and information systems are required to be made interoperable. The final phase will come into force on July 1st, 2018 with the opening up of data and information systems. As a result of this ambitious renewal, Finland’s transport legislation is expected to become one of the most progressive in the world and one which actively supports the introduction of new services, lending a welcome advantage to Finnish businesses as they seek to develop new solutions that will be attractive to other markets as well.

As Finland’s transport sector prepares to enact these measures, discussion has been sparked among many of the country’s key actors in this field as regulators, including the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority; and existing transport service providers, such as Finland’s railway operator VR, budget bus carrier Onnibus; and new comers seek, on-demand ride service provider Tuup, to form an understanding of how these intermodal services will function in the future. A recent point of discussion have been issues relating to liability and responsibility in ensuring successful journeys across longer, multi-operator chains. Whereas, at present, individual operators maintain liability for connections to modes of transportation operated by the same company, the responsibility falls to individual users if they have booked different operators for the connecting legs of the trip. This model obviously stands to discourage users from using new Mobility as a Service solutions which bundle together journey’s using the most efficient options available to the user.

Therefore, this new environment calls for those companies taking on the operation of whole Mobility as a Service solutions to assume responsibility for ensuring these connections, securing that users’ journeys are not delayed nor are they charged extra for the missed connection. This requires, not only, a robust, flexible ability to schedule and route journeys on the go to ensure the user arrives on time, but also the building of strong trust between the operators and strict practices for ascertaining liability in cases of missed connections. The consensus among the various parties has, promisingly, been towards reducing the risk and uncertainty experienced by users as operators have voiced a commitment to ensuring their own connections and professing faith in the ability of evolving technology to efficiently track and predict progress over the entirety of a route.

Read more aboutRead more about Finland’s Transport Services Act 

See more on the discussion currently underway in Finland  (in Finnish)

All news


Reframing City Districts (ReCiDi)

A research project conducted by the Universities of Turku and Tampere which aims to form a new conceptual framework which will help shape the collective identity and common vision necessary to realize the future low-carbon and sustainability targets.

Systemic Architectures for Sustainable Urban Innovation (SASUI)

An action learning and research project conducted by Aalto University and the University of Tampere which aimed to form a better understanding of the architectural requirements for successful innovation projects.