The growth in the capital region requires that the largest investments in new infrastructure must be made in central Oslo. It is only with the new metro tunnel through the city centre that frequencies and the number of stations will enable the metro to assume its role as the important distributor of travellers to large parts of inner Oslo, including providing efficient transfers to trams or city buses. To build a network that is both dense and flexible, it is crucial that we develop good transport hubs and terminals for transfers with good accessibility for cyclists and pedestrians.
The mobility services must be developed as a combined network with sufficient capacity. The largest travel flows will be directed towards Oslo in the future as well, and the metro and railway will form the core of the network. Maintenance and the efficient utilisation of existing infrastructure have first priority. The state must prioritise and contribute to public transport solutions in the capital region.
Market developments suggest that the upgrade and development of the metro must be prioritised ahead of other large infrastructure investments. A high-capacity metro, along with the railway, should be the backbone in the region’s public transport network.
A competitive journey time of only 12 minutes from Majorstuen to Fornebu will make the metro an attractive mode of transport for many purposes.The Fornebu Line from Majorstuen via Skøyen and Lysaker to Fornebu will have capacity for more than 6,000 travellers an hour, which is a doubling of capacity compared to the current bus service on this route. A competitive journey time of only 12 minutes from Majorstuen to Fornebu will make the metro an attractive mode of transport for many purposes. The line will consist of an 8.3 km metro tunnel with six stations. The establishment of the Fornebu Line, coordinated with urban development along the line, provides a unique opportunity to achieve good residential and commercial areas combined with efficient public transport and more cycling and walking.
With the Fornebu Line, the Lysaker and Skøyen stations will, in the main, have the same functions and qualities as the Nationaltheateret and Jernbanetorget/Oslo S stations have today, and a far more important role for the efficient interaction between bus/tram, metro and train.
The plan is for construction on the Fornebu Line to start as soon as possible, with a goal of completion in 2021. Until the line is in use, it is critical to secure flow and minimise delays for the bus.
Between 2025 and 2030, capacity in the tunnel through the city centre will reach full capacity, and it is necessary to build a new metro tunnel to meet customers’ travel needs. Between 2025 and 2030, capacity in the tunnel through the city centre will reach full capacity, and it is necessary to build a new metro tunnel to meet customers’ travel needs. A new tunnel will contribute to a larger share of journeys to and through the centre of Oslo going underground, and is a prerequisite for service improvements on existing branch lines.
New metro stations will cover new markets and contribute to a more effective interplay between the metro, train, bus and tram, as well as support the desired land use and urban development in that travellers who arrive on regional buses or trains can travel onwards to their destination by metro.
Majorstuen station is being built so that the existing and new tunnels will be linked. All trains from Ringen, as well as the Holmenkollen Line, are routed through the old tunnel towards Nationaltheateret, while the Fornebu, Kolsås and Røa lines are routed through the new tunnel towards Bislett. The new station will be under ground, which will free valuable land for urban development at a central public transport hub. Principles of good land use and transport development suggest that a high utilisation of this land in combination with an underground station will contribute to removing the barrier effect of the current station. A new station at Majorstuen with new exits also necessitates a new surface solution that provides better conditions for pedestrians, cyclists, buses and trams. The construction of a new station at Majorstuen should be seen in connection with the construction of the Fornebu Line and the new tunnel through the city centre. The new station should therefore be completed by 2021.
The railway should be developed as the backbone of regional public transport, especially for travel between Akershus and Oslo.The railway should be developed as the backbone of regional public transport, especially for travel between Akershus and Oslo. With the building of a new tunnel for local trains through central parts of Oslo, the railway will assume an enhanced role in the network in the central parts of Oslo.
The Follo Line is to be completed in 2022. At that point, each of the three main corridors out of Oslo will have double tracks. This provides a basis for a more differentiated train service, in which regional trains with few stops use the new lines and tie Oslo and the central regional cities in Akershus together, while local trains handle traffic between the centre of Oslo, outer neighbourhoods and nearby municipalities using the old tracks to Ski, Asker and Lillestrøm.
By implementing capacity-enhancing measures near Oslo S, it will be possible to offer a route design that provides ten-minute frequencies between the regional cities/largest transport hubs in the capital on the new double tracks. It will also be possible to offer ten-minute frequencies for local trains on the old lines nearest Oslo. However, there is insufficient capacity to allow all trains from the east (Main Line and Østfold Line) to drive through the Oslo tunnel with this route design, given that the Airport Express, trains and freight trains are also to run on the same segment. In the longer term, a strong train service therefore requires increased capacity through Oslo.
The Concept Study Oslo Hub describes a new railway tunnel for local trains through the centre of Oslo that ties the old double tracks between Ski, Asker and Lillestrøm together in a local train system for the central, denser part of the region. A new local train tunnel ties the outer city and the nearby periphery closer to the inner city. Such a tunnel provides opportunities to differentiate the train service, in that local train traffic on the old double tracks around Oslo is separated from other train traffic. By moving local train traffic to a new tunnel, capacity is freed in the existing railway tunnel. This provides an opportunity to expand the regional train service.
A full development of the local train system includes two projects. An east-west connection more or less in parallel with the current railway tunnel on the Oslo S-Lysaker segment, and a branch line towards Bislett and on to the Main Line in the Alnabru area.
A new tunnel from Nationaltheateret to the Alnabru area ties the outer city and nearby municipalities along the Østfold and Main lines to inner Oslo.A new tunnel from Nationaltheateret to the Alnabru area ties the outer city and nearby municipalities along the Østfold and Main lines to inner Oslo. The areas in inner Oslo that then get a high capacity and efficient local train system have a very good market potential. An expanded local train service is also a good basis for better serving travellers to Ahus hospital, either by changing parts of the route of the Main Line, or by facilitating an efficient feeder system.
The first phase in the development of a new railway tunnel in Oslo should at a minimum be Oslo S-Nationaltheatret-Bislett. The next phase should be to extend the line further towards the Main Line, possibly so that the use of the tunnel starts as each new station is reached. This is a solution that will be of use for travellers from both the outer city and the nearest neighbouring municipalities, and will open for significant service improvement in areas of the city that already have significant capacity challenges on buses and trams. New local train stations in the inner city will cover new markets and contribute to better transfers between trains, the metro, buses and trams, as well as support desired land use and urban developments.
The bus is the workhorse of public transport: buses transport the most people in the region, and this will be the case in future as well. Though we by now have a significantly enhanced train, tram and metro service, the bus will have to absorb a significant share of the increase in public transport also in the times ahead, and this requires a continuously improving bus service in and towards Oslo.
The route design will change over time, in part through an improved city bus service in the cities in Akershus and through new transversal connections in the entire region. Good traffic flow for public transport must be secured and dedicated public transport lanes must be put in place on the approach to the city centre of Oslo, and separate bus lanes must also be established for the approaches to the largest regional transport hubs and terminals.
In order for the network to function, we must develop efficient terminals and transport hubs that both provide seamless transfers for customers and function in a practical manner in the traffic system.
A planned new bus terminal is to be built aross all the tracks at Oslo S, as part of a comprehensive development of Norway’s largest traffic centre. The current bus terminal in Schweigaardsgate is in practice at full capacity. A new bus terminal at Oslo S gives us a more compact and functional transport hub, with higher capacity and better transfer options than the current terminal at Vaterland. The construction of a new bus terminal at Oslo S should be seen in conjunction with the construction work on the Follo Line, which suggests a start-up in 2018 and completion in the course of 2021.
In addition, there is a need for a further development of a number of transport hubs where buses will play a crucial role, including Bryn, Sinsen, Skøyen, Lysaker, Hauketo, Sandvika, Ski and Lillestrøm (new street-level terminal), as well as new terminals at Fornebu, Økern, Dyrløkke and Vinterbro (new street-level terminal).
Along with the development of a high-frequency service, all of the transport hubs will provide travellers with many good options and an easier journey to more areas in the region.
New infrastructure for trams and super buses should be developed where the market potential does not support the metro or train, but where there is a need for a higher capacity and standard than what can be offered by ordinary buses.
The establishment of a new tram route from Sinsen to Tonsenhagen, with an optional extension to Veitvet/Linderud, will result in less parallel operations of trams and buses in Trondheimsveien. The route will provide better navigability, a more efficient transport hub at Sinsen and provide space for capacity expansions for journeys towards the city centre. It will also facilitate densification along the route. The placement of stops can strengthen local centres and contribute to the development desired for the area in line with overarching urban development plans.
The project has a positive benefit for society. A further extension to Linderud/Veitvet is sensible, and about 900,000 more travellers are expected per year for the entire segment from Sinsen to Linderud. Ruter believes that the first stage of the project, Sinsen-Tonsenhagen, should be completed by 2020, while the last stage of the project, Tonsenhagen-Linderud/Veitvet, should be in place before 2030.
To increase public transport capacity in the centre of Oslo, a new tram line should be created through the city centre. This will provide new capacity and improve the robustness of the tram. New capacity provides the opportunity to increase frequencies on existing lines and extend branch lines. The Fjordtrikken East between Jernbanetorget and Rådhusplassen will give the tram increased capacity in the city centre, which will enable an expansion of the service. For instance, it will be possible to create a tram service to Tonsenhagen. A new tram line between Jernbanetorget and Rådhusplassen should therefore be completed at the same time as the tram is extended to Tonsenhagen.
Market analyses show that there is potential for a new tram line along Ring 2, from Majorstuen to Bryn. The tram must have its own lane on the entire route to offer an efficient and reliable tram service with a significantly better capacity than the current bus line number 20. In the first instance, one could consider whether to establish a continuous public transport lane for buses, incorporating solutions that can easily be adapted for trams at a later stage. Trams along Ring 2 should be seen in conjunction with possible urban development and transformation along the route. The construction of tram tracks along Ring 2 can be divided into several stages and be put into use as they are completed. The appropriate division of the project and stage-wise progress must be assessed in more detail, but Ruter believes there is a basis for having the entire Majorstuen-Bryn segment established as a tram route well before 2030.
There is a need to strengthen north-south capacity in inner Oslo. Today, there are capacity challenges on the existing bus service at times. It may therefore be appropriate to develop a higher-capacity public transport service in this market. Future needs and possible solutions must be looked at more closely, and the development must be seen in conjunction with the selection of underground solutions, such as the metro and local trains. A possible solution may be to establish a new tram route from the city centre via Sagene to Nydalen.
Hovinbyen is one of the largest urban development areas in the capital region. The development of the area will be based on the existing public transport network. A new local train tunnel and new metro tunnel in the city centre will provide sufficient capacity to allow a good service towards the city centre to be offered for Hovinbyen. However, there is a need to develop transversal connections in the area.
The Oslo municipal plan identifies Hauketo as an area for urban development. With a high-frequency local train service and an expanded service of feeder buses, Hauketo station becomes an important hub for public transport. As part of the development of the area, and to provide a better connection between Søndre Nordstrand and areas along the Ekeberg Line, Ruter sees a need to extend the tram route from Ljabru to Hauketo. The extension of the tram to Hauketo should be seen in conjunction with the planned strengthening of the train service from 2022, when the Follo Line opens. At that time, the service on the existing tracks will consist of local trains only.
The development of the service at Hauketo should also be seen in connection with the servicing of a possible urban development at Gjersrud/Stensrud. One solution for serving this area at the far south end of Oslo is a feeder bus to and from Hauketo. A feeder bus that corresponds with an expanded train service from Hauketo in 2022 provides a fast connection to the city centre. However, more feeder buses at Hauketo require the establishment of a continuous public transport lane on the Klemetsrud-Hauketo/Holmlia segment. An alternative rail-based service for this area must be assessed based on the level of urban development.
A study has been completed of a future public transport service between the upper parts of Groruddalen and Lørenskog, with a possible extension to Skedsmo. Public transport in the area should support the Planning collaboration’s proposal for a coordinated land use and transport plan for Oslo and Akershus. Among other things, this entails the strengthening of Lillestrøm as a regional centre and public transport hub for Nedre Romerike, and the creation of a public transport service that enhances the Lørenskog-Strømmen-Lillestrøm-Kjeller urban corridor with an upgraded bus lane that can later be developed into a Romerike Line.
The cycling path network must be developed so that it is denser near where people live and work and along the approaches to public transport hubs to allow for quick and efficient transfers.
By developing cycling and walking paths as shortcuts to stops and stations it will strengthen the competitiveness of green mobility forms, and it will be easy for many people to live without owning a car.
An increase in the share of journeys made by bicycle will entail a need for more bicycle parking. It is important that the parking spots are in the right places, and that they are safe, secure and of good quality. The interaction between cycling and public transport is improved by facilitating bicycle parking at stations and stops in the immediate vicinity of the platform or boarding area. The development of cycling paths and bicycle parking should take the expected rise in the use of electric bicycles into consideration.
A larger vehicle fleet requires increased capacity for nighttime parking and garages for all modes of transport. For the tram and metro, the bases must be located somewhere linked to the rail infrastructure, while the bus facilities should be located in a manner than ensures good flexibility, efficient operations and the lowest number of empty journeys possible.
Where we locate bus facilities, filling stations and terminals is of great significance for our ability to offer customers a good and efficient service. Ruter’s strategy for bus facilities is that in all future calls for tenders for bus services modern facilities in convenient locations will be put at the operator’s disposal, to provide a level playing field for the tenderers taking part in the competition.
Land is especially scarce in Oslo and the surrounding area, and this means that we must find new solutions for acquiring and developing land. Ruter’s environmental strategy for fossil fuel free public transport in 2020 requires targeted and fast developments of bus facilities. The facilities must have optimal environmental solutions for their establishment and operation, and more articulated bus and bi-articulated buses are to a greater degree being planned for. The buses must be washed, maintained and have energy supplied (whether electricity, biogas or other green energy) in the future as well.
The procurement of larger and more new trams will trigger a need for increased base capacity. A concept evaluation is being conducted to find the best solution based on the future needs for the tram procurement.
It is urgent to get started on the development of the priority projects. Ruter has prepared an overarching implementation schedule based on growth estimates and the goal of reaching the target for public transport, cycling and walking.
A number of larger projects must be planned in detail, designed and implemented in the next few years. To follow up on the Concept Study Oslo Hub, a joint organisation for the planning and implementation of large projects with several actors should be established. The purpose of a joint project organisation is both to ensure a rational and cost-efficient implementation and to coordinate the planning and construction so that the interference and inconveniences in the construction period are limited as much as possible for the city and residents in affected areas. Even with an efficient and rational progress, construction of the large infrastructure projects will affect the city during the construction period. This is not least the case for the extensive tunnel projects for the metro and railway, though also for the construction of new tram tracks.
There is a need for new models that secure progress and effective planning processes and that maximise the societal benefits of larger infrastructure investments. Experiences from the planning of the Kolsås and Fornebu lines show that public planning authorities should provide clearer guidelines for land use development and densification along the routes of new tracks, to ensure both the progress and financing of the measure. State regulation is an effective instrument to ensure progress and the completion of large projects in a short time and without delays. This is especially the case where several authorities and/or individual projects need to be coordinated or where there is great complexity.
Ruter proposes the institution of an infrastructure company to secure land along the route and stations for the further planning of the Romerike Line in Lørenskog. In collaboration with the municipalities and private actors, the company will be able to develop the land along the route and secure financing for the line that reflects the increase in the value of the land.
In addition to and while awaiting the implementation of larger measures to increase capacity, such as tunnels through the city centre for the metro and railway, it is still possible to improve utilisation of current infrastructure and materials. In the coming years, a more effective utilisation of the metro and tram cars will expand capacity in the existing tram and metro network. With regard to buses, we have had a gradual transition to longer buses. We envision that this development will continue as demand requires.
Measures giving priority to secure steady and unhindred flow are nevertheless the most important measures for increasing capacity in the surface network for buses and trams. An analysis carried out by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration shows that a reallocation of road space on Ring 1 in favour of public transport will increase the transport capacity of the road, as measured by its capacity to transport persons. In high-traffic public transport axes with queues, it will therefore be very important to prioritise public transport in order to absorb the expected growth in demand for transport capacity.
The current tram infrastructure must be upgraded and modernised before new trams can be put into service. It is also necessary to determine if adaptations or changes in the infrastructure can provide a basis for better customer service. Enabling the running of trams that are longer than those we have today is especially important to increasing capacity. Some places, like in Storgata, adaptations must also be made to allow two trams to stop at the same time.
The development of the tram infrastructure is well underway. A concrete plan for completion, to provide the best possible conditions for the new trams when they are put into operation in 2020, is being prepared by the Tram Programme.
To utilise the capacity in the existing metro system, an extra departure every 15 minutes has been introduced on the Lambertseter Line between Stortinget and Bergkrystallen. The number of trains in the eastern part of the shared tunnel has increased from seven to eight trains every 15 minutes, which is the maximum utilisation of capacity in the shared tunnel with the current signalling system. These measures provide capacity for 3,500 more customers an hour in each direction on the segment. However, future service expansions for the metro require infrastructure investments.
As early as in 2022, there will be so much traffic through the tunnels in the city centre that it will be necessary to expand the service to meet expected increases in demand. A new signalling and safety system makes it possible to maintain the competitiveness of the metro until the new tunnel has been built. The new signalling and safety system will increase capacity through the shared tunnel by up to eight trains per hour in the entire shared tunnel, which means capacity for another 7,000 customers per hour in each direction through the city centre. The increase in capacity can be used to run two trains every 15 minutes from Fornebu to destinations in the east. The societal benefit of the investment in a new signalling and safety system is estimated to be 1.3 times the cost.
Oslo S and the segment to Nationaltheatret and Skøyen are scaled for the train service in Eastern Norway, and with the current schedule it is nearly at capacity in terms of numbers of trains. A number of measures that will increase capacity and provide opportunities for a service that is better tailored to the market should be implemented before a possible new railway tunnel is in place. Measures near the central station (Brynsbakkepakken) are particularly important to provide increased capacity for train traffic towards and through Oslo.
It is important for Ruter to emphasise that the plans and proposals for capacity-enhancing measures for public transport outlined above, must not be implemented at the expense of safeguarding and maintaining current infrastructure.
In order for public transport to be found attractive, it must provide efficient and predictable travel every day. Infrastructure must be safeguarded and developed so that we achieve the most public transport for the money. To reduce and mitigate the consequences of a lack of maintenance, the tram, metro and railway networks in the capital region have been subject to significant upgrades and maintenance in recent years. Customers benefit from this since the service on maintained segments is more reliable, easily accessible and provide more comfortable journeys.
The average lifetime for metro infrastructure is about 40 years, while it for the tram is about 30 years. The lifetime of the infrastructure is affected by traffic volumes, and the shared segments with the most traffic wear out quicker and have a shorter lifetime than branch lines with lower frequencies. Sporveien is working systematically on planning and implementing maintenance and upgrades of the tram and metro segments that have the greatest needs at any given time. Experiences from previous projects enhance the quality of the plans and increase the predictability in the implementation of ongoing and future projects.
Many metro and tram segments still have large upgrade and maintenance needs, and it is important that we continue to prioritise this type of measure in the years ahead as well.