A digital leap in parcel traffic

Competition in parcel traffic is intensifying – digital services provide a competitive advantage for growth and development. Pioneering travel and parcel services provider Matkahuolto implemented a digital leap from on-premise solutions to the cloud in a controlled manner and in a rapid schedule. The successful transition aims at growth, cost savings and a new boost for service development.

The year 2020 will go down in history not just as the year of the coronavirus but as a year of record growth in e-commerce. At best, e-commerce indexes revealed growth peaks of several tens of percent, and the pace is not expected to slow down. This trend has been reflected positively in the demand for parcel services provided by Matkahuolto.

“Consumers and merchants are now accustomed to online shopping, so its popularity is likely to continue once the exceptional circumstances end. In the volume-driven logistics industry, this means more competition,” says Mika Rajanen, CIO & CDO of Matkahuolto.

Matkahuolto, which started operations in 1933, has a strong position in Finland not just as a provider of passenger services but also in internal logistics, which has enabled co-operation agreements with major international players. The positive boost in e-commerce and parcel traffic will also accelerate Matkahuolto’s product and service development, where new technology plays a significant role.

Competitive advantage from digital user experience

With the digitalisation of parcel traffic, customers can now follow and manage their orders on their mobile devices. Matkahuolto’s goal is to further develop this user experience to be even better and smoother.

“Throughout the industry, goods have long moved solely based on logistics considerations. Consequently, although there has been automation, it has not reflected consumer needs. This is the area we want to pay more attention to,” says Rajanen.

The digitalisation of Matkahuolto’s business, which began in 2019, has advanced at a tremendous pace. A rapid leap has been taken from traditional on-premise solutions and the construction of IT services within the subsidiary Trimico to the cloud world and cloud native development. Global IT service provider CGI was selected as Matkahuolto’s strategic outsourcing partner in Finland.

“CGI has a great deal of cloud expertise and experience in application development. Both of these capabilities were required in our major transformation project,” says Rajanen.

From the data centre to the cloud in about six months

Planning for the transfer of IT services began in May 2020, when 17 employees of Trimico, Matkahuolto’s subsidiary, were also transferred to CGI as existing employees. Between August and October, system services were migrated from the traditional server environment to the AWS cloud. This phase utilised the CGI migration model, based on AWS best practices, which enabled a rapid and uninterrupted transition.

“Matkahuolto’s entire production environment was migrated into the cloud by the end of October, and new services were immediately launched in November. All transfers were completed successfully and within the agreed schedule,” says a pleased Rajanen.

In addition to personnel and system transfers, Matkahuolto has addressed information and cyber security issues, which are covered in the agreement with CGI by the services of CGI’s Cybersecurity Operations Centre (SOC). In addition to traditional infrastructure, end-user and application services, the agreement covers the development of new services.

In the implemented cloud migration, CGI operates Matkahuolto’s cloud environment cost-effectively alongside application development and in accordance with the CloudOps model. The next step is to start reforming the application architecture to be cloud-native.

“Matkahuolto’s digital acceleration brings savings in the form of both investment and the dynamic scalability of cloud services. The comprehensive reform will also create better conditions for the development of new digital services and solutions, improving the customer experience and growing the business,” Rajanen concludes.

HSL combined all web services under one roof – CGI involved in renewing the user interface

HSL has implemented an extensive reform of its online services, including the incorporation of the popular Reittiopas journey planner in hsl.fi. The project was carried out in a multi-vendor environment, with CGI Finland responsible for the renewal of the Reittiopas user interface.

In the spring of 2020, Helsinki Region Transport (HSL) launched a major online service reform with the goal of improving the usability of the new website. The aim was also to ensure that all the necessary information related to public transport could be found on the website faster. For this reason, the previously separate Reittiopas service was combined under the same roof with other HSL online services.

“We’ve made the look and feel of our website and the journey planner even clearer. Special attention has also been paid to accessibility. The starting point for the reform was the needs and wishes of our customers,” says Milla Laita, product owner of Digitransit at HSL.

In the multi-vendor environment, HSL’s long-term partner CGI was also responsible for the technical implementation.

“CGI has been involved in the development of the HSL Reittiopas since 2001. This has provided us with a solid understanding of the industry and customer needs. We have strong expertise in geographic information and public transport information systems,” says Elina Ruokari, Customer Relationship Manager at CGI.

Smooth cooperation across boundaries

The new user interface was built in a multi-vendor environment, where different aspects of the project, such as coding and visual design, were the responsibility of different parties.

“One success factor in the project was seamless collaboration across organisational boundaries. Since most of the results needed to be sharable from the start, particular attention has been paid to quality. In this project, all parties have certainly been motivated by the relevance of the work: the results affect the mobility of more than a million people,” says Vesa Meskanen, Systems Specialist at CGI.

The user interface renewal was implemented based on the DevOps model using agile development methods and the JavaScript React platform. The solutions will be implemented for HSL as docker micro services in the Microsoft Azure cloud.

“The Reittiopas journey planner is a popular service, which promotes the transition to lower-carbon modes of transport and provides significant time savings for end users looking for information,” explains Milla Laita from HSL.

The HSL journey planner is based on the open source Digitransit service platform, which is partially developed and maintained by CGI. The Digitransit service platform has been built with funding from the twenty owner municipalities of HSL, Traficom and the TVV ticket and payment systems for the routing of public transport in Finnish urban areas.

The HSL Reittiopas service is the most popular online transport service Finland. HSL and CGI have been developing public transport services together for 30 years.

Raed more about the cooperation between CGI Finland and HSL in another case story Helsinki Region Journey Planner and automated accessibility testing.

Helsinki Region Journey Planner and Automated Accessibility Testing

HSL Journey PlannerHSL Journey Planner is a service provided by Helsinki Region Transport (HSL) that in essence provides users the quickest route from point A to point B using multimodal routing. On top of getting the user to their destination in time, HSL Journey Planner also provides information about closest stops, routes, possible disruptions and vehicles in real-time.

HSL Journey Planner serves 1.7 million customers in the Greater Helsinki area providing over 2.6 million itinerary searches a month. The same UI is also used across Finland with different configurations tailored to meet the needs of each city or area. In total, there are 17 journey planners in Finland based on the same UI, geographically spanning entire Finland.

 

HSL Journey Planner UILast winter HSL.fi and its Journey Planner part was overhauled and a new version was released. The new version of the UI focuses on giving users the most essential information by reducing noise, and providing more contextual information such as the closest stops near the user.

The new HSL.fi won the Grand One 2021 award for the best web service in Finland. HSL.fi was commended for its scalability and ability to serve the diverse user base, offering the essentials for both power and casual users. HSL Journey Planner and HSL.fi create a cohesive unit which would have not been possible without seamless co-operation between CGI, Solita and Futurice.

Accessibility

 “Accessibility is the practice of making your websites usable by as many people as possible”

WHO estimates that about 15% of the world’s population, over a billion people, has some form of a disability. Without accessible websites a huge number of users are left out – A loss for both the users and the service providers.

But accessibility also benefits people without any disabilities. For example elderly people, users of lower spec devices and power users. Contrast requirements may help people with poor vision but also someone who is browsing the site on a phone in bright daylight. Keyboard navigation may be vital to those who navigate the site with screen readers or cannot use the mouse but may also benefit a power user who prefers to use keyboard shortcuts for quick navigation.

EU directive

A new EU directive in 2015 lead to a surge of interest and challenges with accessibility. Many development teams started to implement accessibility as an add-on to already existing services in the wake of the new laws. These teams often face challenges when trying to make an already finished website accessible as an afterthought.

The directive requires certain web services to meet certain standard requirements, provide an accessibility statement and a feedback mechanism. The standard that the web services must meet is the Web Content Accessibility Guideline 2.1 (WCAG2.1), by World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

EU Directive timeline

 

wcga2.1 principlesWCAG2.1 standard provides four basic principles, which are base for set of requirements that aim to ensure that as many people can access the information as possible. Fulfilling the WCAG2.1 standard does not automatically mean that the site is accessible by everyone but it is the best unified standard we have available.

From the basic principles we can deduce that some of the requirements are perhaps subjective and difficult to evaluate. But actually a newly developed AXE accessibility testing engine promises to find up to 50% of the WCAG2.1 related accessibility problems automatically.

Technical tools

Axe is an open-source accessibility testing engine for websites and other HTML-based user interfaces. It was built to integrate with existing environments to easily automate web accessibility testing along with regular testing.  Axe is actively supported by Deque systems, a major accessibility vendor. The Axe engine is currently used by the biggest players in the industry, including Google.

Axe differs from the other automated accessibility testing tools such as react-a11y by testing the accessibility of the actual rendered website as opposed to just validating the syntax of the code. Axe can test a web page or a component against WCAG standards and help towards the best practices such as HTML semantics with header tags and aria labels.

There are many different ways to integrate AXE into your workflow but one of the most productive uses is to create automated accessibility tests with it. Axe can be used together with Selenium webdriver to open up the website, simulate normal use and test the accessibility holistically. Using the Selenium webdriver means that the tests can also be easily integrated into existing end-to-end tests that are industry standard.

Benefits

What kind of benefits would these accessibility tests provide? The obvious benefits for developers are less manual testing and more confidence that the changes are not breaking accessibility. The less obvious benefits are that it spreads knowledge about accessibility to developers and provides a metric for accessibility. It is easier to improve things you can measure and the metric can also be used to support business decisions. This constantly updated metric can also easily be translated into an accessibility statement, which shows the current accessibility problems of the page. A metric that shows the trend of improving accessibility is also for covering the project legally. It can be used to document that a reasonable effort has been made towards accessibility.

Summary

Start early with accessibility in the development process, don’t try to implement it as an afterthought. Integrate automated accessibility tests into your pipeline and start measuring accessibility now. Provide equal access to everyone and don’t miss out on a huge number of possible users.

Over a billion people is not marginal.

Aleksi Siitari

Text by Aleksi Siitari, Consultant, CGI

Telia’s smart solutions boost sustainable transport

Public transport can transform cities – but only if we, the citizens, give it a chance. Public transport needs to be more than an economical option; it needs to be the most efficient and enjoyable ride. That’s why Telia started from the commuter experience and worked outwards to build an end-to-end connected public transport experience. We are redefining what public transport means for commuters, transport operators and cities.

Telia Connected Vehicle also helps transport and logistics companies to optimise their business by consolidating their onboard systems, reducing fuel consumption, and handling vehicle and fleet management more efficiently.

Let us inspire you with some customer cases.

 

Telia Connected Vehicle

Telia launches a new service that makes vehicle and fleet management more efficient, helps promote more environmentally friendly driving, and enables fuel consumption to be reduced by up to 12 percent.

Telia Connected Vehicle is built on the Fältcom platform that was originally developed and proven in the public transport industry. As well as providing “out of the box” features, it is also an open platform that enables transport and logistics operators to consolidate their own and third party applications.

”Several logistics and service companies, such as Neste, have been involved in the development of the new service,” says Kalle Mehtola, head of IoT sales at Telia Finland. “We aim to create completely new types of services for the industry, simultanerously enhancing operations and saving both operational costs and the environment”.

Read more on Telia’s website.

 

Data Insights help Helsinki Regional Transport Authority measure impact

The Helsinki Regional Transport Authority spent € 1.2 billion on a subway extension from Helsinki to the suburban city of Espoo in order to improve the commute for thousands of travelers while reducing CO2 emissions. To optimize connecting bus routes and also measure the sustainability efforts of the subway extension, they used Telia Crowd Insights.

Telia Crowd Insights are based on anonymized mobile network data providing information regarding where crowds are coming from and going to at a particular time. In this way, HSL was able to get clear and lucid views of exactly how the travelers used the existing bus services. This gave HSL a reliable basis for decision-making in order to re-plan the connections. And immediately after the new services began to operate, HSL was able to see how the travelers´ moving patterns changed.

“Benefiting from the new data source and continuous data requires changing the way we operate,” says Tapio Levä, Senior Business Development manager for data insights in Finland. “In the past, many organizations have based their operations on statistics that were updated once a year, for example, but now they have constantly updated data available on, in this case, the flow of people.”

Read more on Telia’s website.

 

Fuel savings and better driving habits for OnniBus.com

OnniBus.com is a leading long-distance bus service in Finland. The company that started its business with one bus between the cities of Tampere and Pori has rapidly grown into one of the best known brands in Finland, revolutionising the entire public transport business and making buses once again a considerable means of travel. With Telia’s Connected vehicle solution, the company is primarily seeking fuel savings.

“OnniBus.com was among the first ones in Finland to start using Telia’s Connected Vehicle offering, that has been designed to optimise the operations of heavy equipment using real-time operating data. The service will be installed in all 68 double-decker buses and possibly also in the 60 single-deckers,” says Telia logistics solution specialist Satu Orava.

“Connected vehicle provides many benefits compared to the present state. With the service, we can combine many services that were previously sourced from several vendors. The number of mobile subscriptions has decreased from seven to two, and we can access the vehicle’s CAN bus errors, allowing us to fix things,” says Lauri Helke, CEO at OnniBus.com.

Read more on Telia’s website and watch Telia’s video on the subject.

 

Telia connects 2,000 buses to smart heating

Telia Company has, together with public transport company Nobina, developed an IoT-service for smart heating of buses. 2,000 buses in Sweden have been equipped with the solution which will lower power consumption equivalent to the yearly output from two wind turbines. Nobina is the Nordic region’s largest public transport service provider.

The usual way of heating buses is to heat them at the garage before they are dispatched. The new IoT-service makes the heating more efficient. 2,000 buses have been equipped with connected temperature sensors and control systems that ensure that the proper amount of energy is supplied at the right time to keep an ultimate temperature profile. The connected temperature sensors are screened in real-time and the temperature profile is updated depending how the buses are utilized.

The IoT-service lowers Nobina’s power consumption with 22GWh yearly which is equivalent to the output from mid-sized two wind turbines.

Read more on Telia’s website and watch Telia’s video on the subject.

 

Improving traffic flow in New York

New York is where the term gridlock was invented: traffic jams that block all directions grinding the city to a halt. And with ever more vehicles competing for road space with cyclists and buses, it’s a problem that effects all New Yorkers. The New York City Department of Transportation is approaching the problem in two ways:

  1. Firstly, traffic management: using data to identify stoppages in the traffic system so they can fix them before they compound into larger problems.
  2. The second way is to make bus services a better experience so more New Yorkers will choose the bus instead of the car. Part of this is to make bus services more predictable by providing accurate real-time bus arrival times displayed at bus stops and pedestrian information signs.

They needed a robust, plug-and-play edge gateway that could be fully managed remotely, without needing to send technicians out to physically reconfigure. They also needed one with high enough security to work in the city’s closed communications network. By connecting traffic lights and bus stops, Telia is delivering real-time data to help the NYC DOT keep traffic flowing and make public transport a better experience.

By providing real time bus arrival times to passengers, the NYC DOT aims to deliver a better service. When people know exactly when the bus will arrive – in minutes away rather than stops away – it is more predictable and a better experience.

Buses send position data to the traffic control center which calculates how many minutes away the bus is. This data is then sent on to Telia IoT Edge Gateways installed at bus stops and pedestrian information signs to feed real-time data for digital displays. The information is also provided via text-to-speech for the visually impaired.

Read more on Telia’s website and watch Telia’s video on the subject.

Picture: Telia Company

Whim, Mobility as a Service –
Every kind of transport together in a single intuitive mobile app

Finnish MaaS Global is the world’s first true MaaS, Mobility as a Service -operator. With their award-winning Whim app they’re set to make the change in transport by combining different transport options from different providers.

Increasing amount of people own a car, yet many of these owners use their vehicles very scarcely. Cars easily cause a lot of expenses and fossil-fueled driving is behind a lot of emissions which doesn’t support sustainable lifestyle. Individual cars also tend to cause traffic jams and blocks at cities. In addition to these problems, drivers also face difficulties with planning their routes in changing cityscapes and finding places to park their cars. However, owning a car is a necessity for many.

Solution: Easier and more eco-friendly transportation

The founder of Maas Global, Sampo Hietanen, had thought and planned about starting MaaS (Mobility as a Service) for a long time before taking the first steps for creating it. In order to make his idea more concrete, it needed new digital technologies, crumbling infrastructure, close cooperation between the authorities and the private sector. In hindsight it is fascinating how a whole country was turned into an incubator to make MaaS happen.

It took MaaS Global, the company that grew in this fertile ground, twelve years to develop into what it is today.

Today MaaS is an international concept of traffic as a service, where the user gets all their needs for mobility organized with only one UI. MaaS is a hassle-free and environmentally sound alternative to private car ownership, helping people to go places easier and more efficiently than ever before.

The core idea of Mobility as a Service (sometimes also referred to as Combined Mobility or Transportation as a Service) is to see mobility through the needs of the customers and through the service layer. Instead of buying cars, folks would buy the services they needed. A taxicab could itself be mobility as a service, but if everyone steps into a cab nobody will get anywhere. Different modes of transportation must be combined to optimize the traffic flow, and for this to work the switch from one mode to another must be pleasant in the physical realm and totally seamless in the virtual realm. All transportation must be behind one service, for example an app. This would include all transport options, from public transport to taxi rides, from car rental to bike rides. Instead of buying single tickets, people would be buying mobility for example, for a month.

Implementation: Close collaboration with various operators

Sampo Hietanen may have been the first to publicly talk about packaging mobility at transportation conference in 2006, but he was not alone in seeing transportation through the service layer. The authorities were also on the move. As digital and as sexy as the words smart and intelligent sound when attached to old things like traffic, energy or cities, those words also express very practical means to make more of what we’ve got.

In order to make MaaS work, legislation and regulation, customer interfaces, technology, application interfaces, billing and the will to get it all done had to align. This tremendous challenge was acknowledged early on. In an age when so much revolutionary and disruptive thinking is thought to bloom despite of governments or corporations, the story of MaaS relies on these actors – with some entrepreneurial spirit thrown in to spice up the magic stew.

In 2009 the Finnish Ministry of Transport and Communication published the first intelligent transportation strategy in the world. It defined intelligent transportation as “usage of information and communications technologies to optimize the transportation system”. It also recognized that this would mean a major shift in focus from maintaining and developing traffic routes to customer based operating of the whole traffic system.

In January 2010 Finland, as the first country in the world, reformed its transport agencies. Later that year the Finnish Ministry of Transport presented a report that started shifting the official policy from infrastructure to a more holistic approach. Close collaboration with different partners and the changes made by the Finnish officials made MaaS-operations possible in Finland.

The concrete process was finally started during 2014, when Hietanen presented his idea of MaaS in Finnish science center Heureka. The conference was called “A Starting Event for the World’s First MaaS Operator”, which held for more than 250 curious attendees. Out of these people, 24 different organization members believed in Hietanen that they agreed to fund business plan. In 2017 all of this resulted in the launch of Whim-application, the first all-inclusive MaaS solution commercially available on the market.

Results: More than 6 million journeys

Whim application has won many national and international awards, among them the prestigious Red Dot Award, the iF DESIGN AWARD, and the Future Unicorn Award. International expansion started when Whim was launched in Birmingham, UK in Spring 2017 and in Antwerp, Belgium later 2017. New investment rounds followed.

In August 2017 MaaS Global announced it had raised 14.5 million euros, while the target had been 10 million euros, and brought in new investors such as Toyota Financial Services and DENSO from Japan. In October 2019 MaaS Global completed another investment round with 29.5 million Euros raised. MaaS Global attracted also new investors, such as Mitsubishi and BP.

At their headquarters in downtown Helsinki MaaS Global has high on the wall for everyone to see, a black display on which bright LED numbers count trips taken with the Whim app. Right now the amount of journeys made with the help of Whim is more than 6 000 000. MaaS isn’t just alive – it is scaling.

Contact information:
Veera Aalto
Communications Lead
veera.aalto(at)maas.global

https://whimapp.com

SmartRail ecosystem accelerating sustainable mobility and growth

The diverse SmartRail ecosystem is accelerating sustainable mobility and the development of user-centric mobility services whilst creating new business opportunities.

Transport is one of the fastest growing industries in the world and is influenced by many megatrends such as climate change, urbanization, servicitation, networking and moving towards autonomous operations. The revolution in the transport sector provides excellent opportunities for diverse Finnish know-how and new operating models to create new innovative solutions and new business to meet market needs. The SmartRail ecosystem, which combines the diverse expertise of companies, public authorities and research organizations, will accelerate the implementation of sustainable, smart and user-centric urban transport while increasing the competitiveness of its members.

Data and services will be at the core

Urban environments aim for a sustainable and user-centered transport system that can serve its residents safely and smoothly. Digitalisation, advanced technologies, human-centric design and new operating models are key tools in responding to the challenges of climate change and transport demand increase. Emission-free intelligent solutions based on public transport and new mobility services will be pivotal to this. The transport system will become electrified, service-oriented autonomous. Transport is becoming the most important sector in developing the data economy, since transport is currently within a process of increasingly interconnecting with information and energy networks.

Electrified public transport with its user-centric services is the direction of future urban transport – and the SmartRail ecosystem is one of the driving forces in accelerating this transformation. The ecosystem aims to become the most attractive provider of tram-integrated functionalities and services within the market sector. The technological focus is to deliver the best tram in the world in terms or passenger and life cycle services, and to provide solutions that increase the safety and flexibility of trams and trains in the transition towards autonomous operations.

A diverse network of experts and co-development will increase the competitiveness of a growing ecosystem

The annual turnover of the SmartRail ecosystem with its associated mobility services is estimated to be several billion euros in 2030. The competitive edge of the SmartRail ecosystem is centered around the diverse expertise of companies, public authorities and research organizations, that is harnessed to serve a common goal. A systematically guided co-innovation process and the deployment of a world-class development environment for rail-related mobility services are key tools in achieving this goal. These will accelerate the development of the companies’ service and product development and hence the market uptake of solutions that add value and benefits for the end-users and cities.

SmartRail is a growing ecosystem that is being developed in stages and can be joined by new actors along the way, bringing their own contribution to the ecosystem. SmartRail’s first innovation phase with its RDI projects was launched in early 2019 with the support of Business Finland. The first stage main themes are tram and subsystem automation solutions, information systems and virtual technologies – and also, ramping up the business oriented innovation ecosystem. The second innovation phase was launched in February 2020 with the main themes of proactive situational awareness, user-driven solutions and impact assessment. Impacts will be evaluated from the perspective of enterprise-driven international business as well as from the perspectives of the environmental and socio-economic benefits for mobility within the urban transport system. The third innovation phase focusing on tram-related mobility services and other services is to be launched later in 2020.

In addition to the ecosystem anchor company Skoda-Transtech and the research coordinator VTT, the organisations implementing the SmartRail innovation phases include Mevea, Mipro, 3D House, Creanex, DA-Design, Lumikko, Tamware, EC Engineering, Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology, Kajaani University of Applied Sciences, University of Tampere, Tampere Tramway, City of Tampere, Business Tampere, Helsinki City Transport and Traficom. The SmartRail ecosystem is supported by Business Finland and currently includes also Ambientia, Proxion, Teknoware, Cinia, Vinka and Isoft as members of the ecosystem. For more information visit the SmartRail ecosystem website https://smartrailecosystem.com/ .

 

Picture: Tampere Tramway Ltd.

The act on Transport Services – Mobility is a service

The Finnish Act on Transport Services has been described as globally groundbreaking and unique in the field of transport sector legislation. What led to the creation of this law?

Earlier, the transport market in Finland was strictly regulated and guided by public measures. At the same time, however, the digitalisation of transport was emerging, and the digital knowledge, communication and automation were becoming an essential part of all kinds of transportation. Finland wanted to be the forerunner in this section, which led to the development of the Act on Transport Services. One of the reasons behind creating the Act was also to promote fairness of competition in the passenger transport market and competitiveness of the service providers of both passengers and goods transport.

Solution: A unique transport sector legislation

The new Act on Transport Services, created in 2017, aims at proactively supporting new transport services and innovation through significant regulatory change. The Act granted access to data on timetables and pricing of different transport providers and deregulated taxi transport, also allowing third parties to sell transport tickets by opening ticket interfaces.

The Act was prepared in an open manner, in cooperation with different kinds of stakeholder groups and business representatives. As digitalisation was proceeding and intelligent transport systems were being developed further, the consensus was that the Act should enable future transport solutions and improved services to citizens and users.

The Act was expected to promote novel service concepts and innovation in businesses by encouraging old and new actors to rethink. The new legislation also paved the way for new mobility services and applications by removing barriers. These kinds of new services and apps are thought to encourage people to choose for example carpooling, taxi or public transport instead of a car.

Implementation: The Act was carried out in three stages

The Act on Transport Services was carried out in three stages due to its wide-ranging content.

In the first stage, provisions on road transport were brought together under the Act on Transport Services. A significant part of the regulations concerning the transport of people and goods was combined and renewed. The Act eased the regulations in the taxi industry especially.

A central aim of the Act on Transport Services is to promote digitalisation of transport services and more efficient use of data. The data regulation, which aims at creating prerequisites for open data and a better use of data resources, was a central element in the first stage. The Act sets out new obligations for transport service providers regarding the interoperability of information and ticketing systems, as well as the openness of interfaces.

Provisions on air, maritime and rail transport markets and on the qualifications of transport personnel were added in the second stage. The second stage of the Act also continued the opening of data regarding the use of mobility services.

Providing travel chains and combined services was made easier by enabling service provides to act on behalf of another person. This means that a provider of a combined mobility service can incorporate tickets for all modes of transport, car renting services, different kinds of seasonal and serial products and discounts by acting on the customer’s wishes and on their behalf.

Viewed from the international perspective, in Finland the authorities’ registers are very precise and exhaustive, and better utilisation of them could be a significant competitive factor. Reform of the regulation on transport registers strengthens the possibilities of those in the register to use their own data themselves and to benefit from better mobility services. The reform means considerable deregulation, as about ten current registers relating to transport and the separate laws concerning them were consolidated to form one integrated register of transport affairs that contain data on operator permits, transport vehicles and personal licenses such as professional qualifications.

The third stage of the project finalised the Act. Provisions were laid down on professional qualifications, preparedness, opening up of postal information for development purposes, and positioning in heavy road transport and railway and rail transport.

The Act entered into force, for the most part, on 1 July 2018.

Results: In legislation, mobility is now seen as a whole

The Act on Transport Services is an extremely extensive regulation reformation that brought together and streamlined regulation, enabled deregulation of transport markets and created globally groundbreaking regulation. In legislation, mobility is now seen the same way as in peoples´ everyday lives: not as single bus lines or railways but as a whole.

The user orientation and data regulation involved in the Act aligned Finland with the global forerunners in promoting a large-scale change in the transport market. By enabling new kinds of mobility services, we are striving for better fluency and safety of transports as well as significant emission reductions. New mobility services are also expected to reduce the use of private cars and enable the huge potential growth of service market.

Along with the data regulation in the Act on Transport Services, mobility service providers have opened a wealth of interfaces for essential data, and the opening of sales interfaces has also started. According to feedback from operators, new services and systems have actively been developed.

The number of companies and drivers in the taxi field has increased considerably, and the services and pricing models seem to have diversified.

The key aim of the Act on Transport Services was to support long-term processes of change. Therefore, final conclusions about its effects should only be drawn later.

Finland recognised for implementing forward-looking policy

Act on Transport Services has gained international recognition. Finland was awarded an important recognition for its merits in implementing a forward-looking communications policy and legislation. The GSMA Government Leadership Award was presented to Finland in Barcelona on 26 February 2019.

In the award justifications, Finland was praised for its forward-looking communications policy as part of the transformation of transport. The new Act on Transport Services in which data is seen as an integral part of the transport system, as the fifth mode of transport, was mentioned as one of Finland’s central achievements.