Science Tram

The Science Tram is a light rail line planned to replace bus number 506 that ran across the city between Viikki and Otaniemi. Since autumn 2016, the route of bus 506 was shortened further, and it currently only runs between Meilahti and Viikki.

The Science Tram got its name from the fact that science is literally being made along its route. In 2019, seven higher education institutions and ten campuses are located along its route. As much as 40% of the higher education students in the Capital Region study on these campuses, with a significant share of the institutions’ personnel working there, too. As many as 100,000 of all jobs in the Capital Region are located within the Science Tram’s sphere of influence.


The campaign ran a resident’s initiative, with signatures collected for it in 2016–2017. A total of 4191 signatures were collected, which made the initiative the fourth most popular in the history of Helsinki. In addition to the resident’s initiative, the campaign influenced decision-makers especially during the 2017 municipal elections, when the candidates were asked for their opinion on the campaign.

Organisations participating in the campaign have included the student organisations operating within the Science Tram’s sphere of influence, Aalto University, Arcada University of Applied Sciences, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, the University of Helsinki, Laurea University of Applied Sciences, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Foundation for Student Housing in the Helsinki Region Hoas and UniSport.

Current situation

The Science Tram and its parts have progressed in municipal decision-making. At the end of 2017, the urban environment committee of Helsinki decided that a rail connection that corresponds pretty well to the Science Tram will be built after the Malmi and Kalasatama tramlines have been completed.

Another big step was taken in June 2018, when the Helsinki City Council approved the general plan of the Kalasatama tramlines. The plan includes a rail connection through Vallilanlaakso, which is an important part of the Science Tram. The selected connection would make cross-city traffic from higher education campuses in Kumpula and Arabia to Pasila significantly easier.