Car-free everyday life is possible in Jyväskylä
In the Jyväskylä region, 30,000 Linkki trips are made every day, most of them in the area of the city of Jyväskylä. Public transport has been used so diligently this year that the peak readings of 2019 are about to be broken. In the years to come, the goal is to double the number of public transport users.
The popularity of public transport is due to the contributions made by Jyväskylä, Laukaa and Muurame in public transport pricing as well as in the smooth operation of the system. At the outset of 2020, ticket prices were reduced. According to Kari Ström, Service Manager of Jyväskylä’s Urban Structure Services, prices are to be lowered further, even though fuel costs, for example, have risen.
− We’ve also wanted to build smart travel chains. When it’s a longer journey to Linkki stops, it’s possible to come by bicycle and leave the bike at an access parking lot. At the moment, there are about 15 parking spaces for bicycles and more are being added from year to year.
− Access parking for cars is also coming to the outskirts of the city. We have designed these together with the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment in Central Finland.
Planning travel chains becomes easier when you can buy a Linkki ticket at the same time as you buy a ticket for a train or Onnibus coach.
We have also created joint tickets for various events such as trade fairs, so that the same ticket can be used to access both the event and Linkki. Co-operation contributes to the planning of sustainable events.
The threshold to use public transport is lowered by the opportunity to try Linkki travel. Different kinds of free travel campaigns have also increased the number of new users.
Super Links ease the rush
In the summer of 2024, Jyväskylä will significantly increase scheduled public transport bus services. Four “Super” Links will be scheduled along routes that have the most passengers.
− You’ll be able to board Super Link buses during rush periods every 15 minutes. In the schedule-free zone, there will be an opportunity to further condense this if there are a lot of users,’ Kari Ström promises.
Meanwhile, “City” Links will be introduced in the core city centre, which will serve, among other things, users of educational institutions and the Hippos area.
According to the surveys, more and more city dwellers are interested in car-free everyday life.
− A really big percentage of people plan to give up cars or don’t want to buy one at all. People want more sustainable mobility,’ Kari Ström affirms.
In Jyväskylä, there are good starting points for the development of public transport, because the urban structure is compact and users are plentiful.
− Also in the new residential areas, 90% of the inhabitants will be living along public transport routes. Good public transport is an attractive factor for the entire region, because public transport in the Jyväskylä region also includes Laukaa and Muurame.
Cycling increases smooth transport and safety
Jyväskylä is also investing strongly in commuting- and leisure time-based cycling. The recently completed Yrjönkatu bicycle street is a brand-new type of route in which cyclists and motor vehicles share the same lane, marked with red asphalt. Cyclists have the right of way along the street.
− The Sepänkatu-Puistokatu section was completed during the first phase. Restructuring of the final section of Yrjönkatu into a bicycle street will be presented in next year’s investment programme,’ construction manager Jari Lohi declares.
The construction of a bicycle street is part of the City of Jyväskylä’s Cycling Promotion Programme, which was prepared in 2015. Several other street renovations have been implemented in Jyväskylä in recent years, which have improved cycling conditions.
− With each street restructuring project, we carefully consider how we can promote walking and cycling.’ For example, the renovations affecting the Yliopistonkatu and Puistokatu streets were completed with light traffic as the priority.
− The fluency and safety of cycling along Yliopistonkatu street were increased by implementing one-way bicycle lanes, so that there’s no oncoming traffic in the same lane.’ The bicycle lanes along Väinönkatu and Harjukatu streets, marked in red, also bring more safety to cycling.
Attention also to main routes
Jari Lohi considers the construction of the Kangas cycle track from Ailakinkatu street in the direction of Seppälä to be an important step. Also, the main route in the northern direction from Kyyhkysenmäki to Palokka’s Ritopohja is now in good shape.
Rehabilitation of the main eastern route, i.e. the Lutakko-Vaajakoski route, is now being planned. There is also a proposal for next year to improve the cycling conditions between Pitkäkatu and Voionmaankatu-Keskikatu streets.
Text: Pia Tervoja
Image: Erja Mutanen