Assistance available at bus stations for disabled persons and people with reduced mobility
Who will be assisted?
Assistance will be provided at bus stations for the disabled and people with reduced mobility in accordance with EU Regulation 181/2011. Contrary to the Regulation, assistance will be provided irrespective of the length of the journey.
A disabled person or person with reduced mobility means any person whose mobility is reduced as a result of any physical disability (sensory or locomotory, permanent or temporary), intellectual disability or impairment, or any other cause of disability.
Where is assistance available?
Assistance is available for disabled persons and people with reduced mobility at the following bus stations serving passengers: Helsinki, Jyväskylä, Kuopio, Lahti, Oulu, Rovaniemi, Tampere, Turku, and Vaasa.
When is assistance available?
Assistance is available at the stations during the opening hours of the ticket offices. To see the opening hours, visit Matkahuolto’s website.
Who will give assistance?
At the stations offering disabled services, assistance will be provided by Matkahuolto's personnel.
The assistant must be booked in advance at Matkahuolto’s Customer Service Centre at least 36 hours before the departure or arrival of the bus or coach.
The order for assistance must be placed between 8.00–16.00 Mon-Fri at 020 331 222 (call charge 8,4 cents/min when calling from Finland) or by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Arrival at the station
Once you have booked an assistant, come to the station at the agreed time, which is at least 30 minutes before the time of departure of the coach.
For departure and arrival times, see Matkahuolto’s website. The ticket offices have limited opening hours from Monday to Friday and the offices at most stations are closed during weekends.
Arrival by car/taxi
At many stations, access to the bus and coach terminals by car and taxi is restricted. Ask for details when booking assistance.
The assistant will meet the person to be assisted at the agreed-upon location. The rendezvous points are indicated in the terminal signs.
At the bus station
The customer will be helped to the departure platform or bay and to the ticket office and waiting room if necessary. All the passages at the bus stations offering disabled assistance are not handicap accessible. If so, the passenger will be escorted directly from the rendezvous point to the departure bay or platform.
At the Helsinki Bus Station, there is a wheelchair to facilitate access to the departure bay.
At most stations, departure times are displayed on monitors or shown in printed timetables.
At the departure platform or bay
As a rule, cars or taxis are denied access to the platform area at all stations. At some stations, however, it is possible to bring the person being assisted quite close to the departing bus. Check this when booking assistance.
Assistance is also provided by the bus drivers at departure platforms.
Boarding the bus
At the departure station, your assistant will help you to your seat on the bus.
For safety reasons, the assistant may not lift a disabled person out of or into a wheelchair.
The bus driver will help put the luggage and any personal aids (e.g. wheelchair) into the cargo hold. When booking assistance, check to make sure that there is enough room in the cargo hold for the aids. Electric wheelchairs cannot be transported in the bus cargo hold because of their great weight and size.
Responsibility for the disabled passenger's aids (wheelchair, etc.) on boarding and unboarding the bus will also rest with the passenger him- or herself or the escort.
At the destination
If you have booked an assistant to help you at the destination station, the assistant will come to help you off the bus.
If a disabled person or person with reduced mobility is unable to travel alone because of his or her disability or reduced mobility, they must be accompanied by an escort. The escort may travel together with the person being assisted free of charge if the total length of the route from the point of departure to the destination exceeds 250 km even if the trip they take is shorter than that. Indicate if you are accompanied by an escort when booking assistance.
Passengers travelling with a guide dog
On a bus, a guide dog may travel together with the person being assisted free of charge. Inform of the guide dog when booking assistance.
A hearing dog may accompany a hearing impaired passenger free of charge. Inform of the hearing dog when booking assistance.
All the aids needed by a passenger with reduced mobility on the trip will be carried as luggage free of charge. Report any aids when booking assistance.
Bus and terminal operators are liable for any loss of or damage to a wheelchair or other mobility or other aid left in their care.
Right to transport
Matkahuolto or the bus operator may refuse to issue a ticket or deny access to the vehicle because of the passenger’s disability or reduced mobility if this is necessary to comply with the road safety requirements contained in the applicable international, EU or national provisions. Access may also be denied if it is physically impossible for the disabled person to board, exit or travel on the bus in a safe and appropriate manner because of the design of the bus or the infrastructure, such as the bus stop or terminal. The passenger is entitled to hear the grounds for such a decision and be informed of optional services, if any. If the passenger has paid the fare in advance, he or she is entitled to a refund even if the need for assistance were not indicated in advance.