On March 27, Keskisuomalainen reported that every sixth long-distance train was delayed last year. According to Keskisuomalainen, the delays are particularly concentrated on the Karelian and Tampere-Jyväskylä railway sections.
The delay problem on Jyväskylä’s railway section is exacerbated by tunnels and, in particular, the single-track section between Orivesi and Jyväskylä. When one train is delayed, the entire railway section is slowed down because trains have to wait at passing points for the already delayed train. To improve rail transport, more rail capacity is urgently needed. This would concretely mean additional double-track rail sections between Orivesi and Jyväskylä.
“Jyväskylä is a large city with the transportation infrastructure of a small city. Efficient and fast rail transport to the south serves the interests of commuter traffic and, therefore, also the interests of the business community. Increasing the rail capacity and passing sections between Tampere and Jyväskylä should be part of the national rail transport flagship projects,” says Nuutti Ruotsalainen, the municipal policy representative of the JYY board.
JYY demands that the next government invest more targeted resources in the implementation of double tracks and also promote the implementation of the Tampere passing track. JYY also demands that transportation subsidies be targeted towards environmentally friendly and accessible rail transport instead of flights. “The incoming government must make principle decisions to promote rail transport in Central Finland. Jyväskylä is best reached by rail, and its conditions must be improved. The incoming government must also ensure that public transport subsidies are primarily directed towards rail transport, instead of inefficient and unsustainable air travel subsidies,” says Ruotsalainen.
Ruotsalainen states that the VAT reduction for public transport that expires in May has been successful. “The VAT reduction was directly reflected in ticket prices. The incoming government must make permanent solutions to reduce the one-time fees for public transport,” Ruotsalainen demands. The smoothness and accessibility of rail transport are essential prerequisites for students’ daily lives: “Jyväskylä students travel a lot using transportation connections between major cities. Therefore, rail transport problems are directly visible in the daily life of a Jyväskylä student,” says Ruotsalainen.
Functional rail transport is a prerequisite for Jyväskylä’s vitality and daily life. In addition to low usage fees, the government must ensure that Jyväskylä’s rail transport meets the needs of the city and its residents.