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Arja Aalto

Specialist, Passenger traffic; M.Sc.
Finnish Transport Agency, Transport and Land Use

Arja has very long experience of working in the transport sector, especially as a focus the strategic planning of railways. She has promoted the development of passenger traffic services in many railway projects, cooperation groups and transport system planning projects in Finland. She has also managed R&D studies and publication activities. The digitalization of passenger services and real-time passenger information are also the  development challenges. It is important to have smooth ways of travelling and seamless travel chains as well as competitive infrastructure for the public transport use.

Arja is especially honored by acting as a secretary in the first long-term strategy planning project for the Finnish Railway Network at the end of 1990s. Back then, it was time to create the vision of how to speed up long-distance train connections and shorten journey times; not by building new high-speed lines, but upgrading old ones for the maximum speed of 200 km/h. Now, many of these planned connections are in use serving railway passengers in Finland.

Arja has worked at the Finnish Transport Agency since 2010 following her working years at the Finnish Rail Administration and the Finnish State Railways (now VR Group). Recently, she has been a project manager for the development program of Finnish railway stations including in particular: accessibility audits and data collection of all stations, the definition of the service levels for stations of different size and prioritization of development actions.

The development of stations and passenger traffic has also given Arja the opportunity for international cooperation with the railway organizations at the European level. Arja likes to travel and is active in broadening her knowledge about the world and experiencing different kinds of transport modes. She has studied geography, economics, communication and IT at the University of Helsinki.

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