Local traffic (HSL)
The Helsinki metropolitan area public transport uses a travel card or a mobile app. It acts as a means of payment in the public transportation of Helsinki, Espoo, Kauniainen, Vantaa and a few other neighbouring cities. As a travel card holder, you are able to travel smoothly from one city to the next, hop from a bus to a commuter train and travel in the metro, tram and Suomenlinna ferry in Helsinki. Starting from spring 2019, travel prices are based on zones instead of city borders – you can find more info on the zone system at HSL’s website.
Travel cards are personal and you can load them with either time (season ticket) or money (value ticket). The travel card can be loaded at HSL service points and ticket machines, VR sales points, Helsinki region R kiosks and also in some grocery shops. You can find the closest sales point online at www.hsl.fi/en/tickets-and-fares/sales-points.
Students permanently residing in the greater Helsinki area can load their seasonal card with a 45% student discount, the card itself costs €5. Those residing in the greater Helsinki area temporarily are not entitled to student discounts (with the exception of exchange students) and they can only purchase a holder-specific travel card. If you are residing in the Helsinki region temporarily, notify your local registry office of your move and you will be given a certificate of your residency so you can purchase a travel card. More information: www.hsl.fi/en/tickets-and-fares/discount-tickets/students.
In later study years, you can update your right to receive the student discount in any service point by showing your student card with a valid year sticker. If you do not have a student card, you can get a discount by taking a form from your academy's study services to the HSL service point. To avoid long queues in the beginning of term, HSL has also organised temporary service points for example at the University of Helsinki main campus.
Student discounts are available in trains by showing your student card (if you have not yet received your student card, ask VR for more information). You must always show your student card when purchasing your ticket and upon ticket inspection. Your student card must have a valid year/term sticker. More information: www.vr.fi/cs/vr/en/frontpage.
Most long-distance buses give you a student discount depending on the busing company. The discount is given when you show a valid student card when purchasing the ticket. The Onnibus company offers no student discounts but provides very cheap bus connections to several cities in Finland. Additional information: www.matkahuolto.fi/en and www.onnibus.com.