Lahti (Finland)

Lahti is a city of 100,861 inhabitants situated on a bay at the southern end of Lake Vesijärvi, about 100 km northeast of the Finnish capital Helsinki. The city is eager for making public transport, walking and cycling more attractive.

According to a 2010 regional survey, the city had a modal split of 54 percent private vehicles; 25 percent pedestrians; 5 percent collective public transport; 13 percent cycling; and about 3 percent other modes.

The City Council's strategy outlines how transport should be developed and organised in in the future. Transport policy guidelines (adopted in 2011 and updated in 2013) takes the strategy to the next level, with further clarity and specificity. The guidelines consist of goals, policies and targets and guide the transport system design, construction and maintenance, as well as traffic and mobility management. Transport policy, general planning and development of the city centre design will closely interact with each other.

A key element of the strategy states that where traffic is congested or there are conflicts between different modes of transport, priority is given to environmentally friendly options: walking, cycling and public transport.

The number of vehicles in Lahti is constantly increasing. The challenge is therefore to motivate people to go by collective transport, bicycle or foot. The level of bus services should be improved and ticket prices reduced in order to attract more passengers. Zones with limited access for private vehicles should be introduced in the city center.

The city works on sustainable transport issues in cooperation with the Ministry of Transport and Communications, and the Regional Centres for Economic Development, Transport and Environment. Lahti is also a member of a national network of cycling municipalities.

Summary updated: July 2013


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