Statement: The drastic increase of transportation prices between Helsinki – Porvoo endangers studying in Porvoo
Free to publish
In Helsinki 15.05.2019
The Student Union of Haaga-Helia – Helga and the Student Union of Laurea University of Applied Sciences Laureamko are shocked about the rise of pricing for transportation between Porvoo and Helsinki. When the acquisition of Onnibus was announced the CEO of Koiviston Auto, Antti Norrlin, vowed prices would remain low saying “Onnibus has managed well thanks to its aggressive pricing strategy. That will continue.” Over doubling the monthly cost of a season ticket between Porvoo and Helsinki is absurdly far from that promise.
The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority has stated that they consider the acquisition of Onnibus to be potentially harmful for consumers and would take it under investigation if they had the authority to do so. And for a good reason: a 93€ addition to monthly expenses is almost 40% of the monthly student allowance, and with the new pricing the whole monthly ticket takes almost 70% of the allowance. This doesn’t even include local transportation inside Helsinki, and with at least the AB monthly ticket in Helsinki required, which costs 32,84€ a month with the student discount, it adds up to 200,84€ a month in travel expenses alone – approximately 80% of the student allowance. Students living in Helsinki and going to school in Porvoo – or the other way around – have no choice but to pay up, unless if they own a car, which few students can afford. The situation is not just unbearable for students, but also Porvoo residents working in Helsinki. Annual travel expenses will increase by over 1100€.
This development doesn’t only threaten the ability to study normally for those Porvoo students who live in Helsinki, but also makes Porvoo less accessible for those interested in its studying opportunities. Should the amount of students decrease, teachers’ jobs can be in danger on the long run.
Helga has negotiated student discounts for public transportation to Porvoo for the 1100 Haaga-Helia students studying there with Porvoon Liikene, a subsidiary of Koiviston Auto, since 2016 with no progress. It is clear that Koiviston Auto only sees students as a source of income.
Helga and Laureamko urges Koiviston Auto to drastically rethink the pricing model of the routes that they have acquired and consider implementing a student discount as well. Returning the pricing to the status it was previously keeps in line with the promises of Antti Norrlin, and even that is the most expensive model which already struggling students can afford.
chairperson of the board