Legislative project on enabling regional competence in passenger rail transport launched

Ministry of Transport and Communications
Publication date 18.3.2024 10.07 | Published in English on 18.3.2024 at 13.37
Press release
Lähijuna, kävelijöitä ja autoja Pasilan asemalla lumisessa maisemassa.
Photo: Markus Pentikäinen, Keksi/LVM

According to the Government Programme of Prime Minister Petteri Orpo, competition in passenger rail transport services will be increased by enabling municipalities, joint municipal authorities and regions to arrange outsourced services. The Ministry of Transport and Communications has launched a legislative project to make the necessary changes in legislation.

The aim of the legislative project is to clarify the regulatory framework in terms of the competent authorities in rail transport, increase effective competition in the rail transport market and facilitate market access.

Regional passenger train services to be reorganised

According to the current Act on Transport Services, the competent authorities for rail transport are the Ministry of Transport and Communications and, in its own region, the joint municipal authority of Helsinki Region Transport Authority. 
The legislative project will clarify the grounds of regional competence in passenger rail transport. This will enable municipalities, joint municipal authorities and regions to arrange passenger rail transport in their areas. 

The Ministry of Transport and Communications has been responsible for the purchases of all rail transport in Finland but, in the future, the ministry will not be the appropriate authority for the task. The project will deliberate on the appropriate authority to be responsible for passenger rail transport purchases in place of the Ministry of Transport and Communications. 

At the same time, the procurement procedures provided for in the Transport Services Act will be evaluated in order to ensure the prerequisites for a functioning, competitively neutral market in accordance with the Government Programme. 

Rail transport plays a key role in passenger and goods transport services both as a mode of transport and as a component of the security of supply. The rail transport market in Finland is concentrated and, compared to many Western European countries, not very competitive. The legislative project will contribute to the creation of competition for market-based transport, as competitive tendering for publicly supported transport offers an opportunity to operate with a broad business model, lowering the threshold for entry into the market. 

Next steps?

Preparations for the act will begin at the Ministry of Transport and Communications in cooperation with stakeholders. The preparation will involve circulation for comment and hearings, the first of which will be held on 11 April 2024. The government proposal is expected to be submitted to Parliament in 2025.


Tiia Orjasniemi, Ministerial Adviser, tiia.orjasniemi(at)gov.fi, tel. +358 295 342 068
Emmi Nykänen, Ministerial Adviser, emmi.nykanen(at)gov.fi, tel. +358 295 342 114
Emil Asp, Director of Unit, emil.asp(at)gov.fi, tel. +358 295 342 498

Kasvun kaava Orpon hallitusohjelma