Investments in public transport and healthcare when Stockholm grows


Stockholm County’s stable growth is basically positive and opens the way for many opportunities. But it also entails considerable challenges and new requirements. The need for increased community service means that healthcare needs to be further developed and become more efficient. The County Council also wants to improve the possibilities for travel to better tie the County together.

Europe’s most attractive metropolitan region

The vision is for the Stockholm region to become Europe’s most attractive metropolitan region. To achieve this, many stakeholders in the County need to work together. Stockholm County Council contributes to better conditions for a sustainable region – ecologically, socially and economically – by reducing the operations’ climate impact, being resource efficient and promoting health. One of the most important ways of improving the environment is to increase the number of people travelling by public transport. With attractive public transport and good health and medical care, the County Council’s operations will also contribute to promoting the region’s economic growth in a sustainable manner and make it possible for more residents to live and work in the County.

The region’s sustainable development shall meet today’s needs, but without risking the possibilities of future generations. With a strong population growth – by 2030, the number of residents in the County will probably have increased by more than half a million compared with 2010 – planning must be done to meet these needs. The investments the County Council is making today will also benefit future residents. Today, just over 2.2 million people live in the County. Since 2010, the population has increased by 177,000 people.

In 2015, the County Council prepared its contribution to and involvement in the Sweden negotiations – the state-appointed negotiation model on future infrastructure investments to benefit housing construction and enterprise. Several of the most prioritised infrastructure investments affect the Stockholm region. The negotiations shall report their final results no later than December 2017. 

In 2015, work intensified on preparing a new regional development plan with its sights set on 2050. The plan builds further on the current regional development plan, RUFS 2010. The regional development plan for the Stockholm region forms the basis of the municipalities and County Council’s long-term planning, the regional growth work, the regional structure fund programme and infrastructure plans. The plan should express the region’s will and serves as a joint contract.

During the year, work was also begun to investigate a possible reformation of the County Council into a region. A region formation would mean that the County Council would take over responsibility from the County Administrative Board for coordinating the region’s growth work. 

Public transport upgrade and expansion

In 2015, the work on the expansion of the Metro was prioritised. This is the largest investment in the Metro since the 1970s.  The County Council is now preparing the construction of nearly 20 kilometres of new Metro lines with ten stations. In the future, it will be possible to take the Metro to and from Nacka, Barkarby and Arenastaden. The extension of today’s Blue Line from Kungsträdgården also to the south, linking up with the Hagsätra Line, creates conditions for more frequent service on all lines to Southern Stockholm.

Construction workers. PhotoThe new Metro contributes to making the everyday life of Stockholm’s residents easier. The municipalities that get a new Metro have committed to build a total of 78,000 new homes. The extension to Barkarby and Arenastaden is scheduled to begin in 2016. In 2018, it will be Nacka and Southern Stockholm’s turn. The new Metro is scheduled for completion in 2025. At the end of 2015, the County Council submitted the first of many future permit applications that are required for the construction of the Metro. The consultations held regarding the Yellow Line (Odenplan - Arenastaden) and the Blue Line (to Nacka and Southern Stockholm) collected many opinions and submissions. There is extensive public interest in the new Metro.

Work to upgrade the Metro’s Red Line continued with a replacement of the signalling systems and new Metro carriages. In 2015, a study was also done as to whether the Red Line should be fully automated in the future. The goal is to increase the Red Line’s capacity by approximately 25 per cent.

The Metro depot in the Slakthus area was closed and the depot in Hammarby was expanded for work vehicles instead. In Norsborg, an entirely new depot was built with more space to meet new needs and increased capacity.

In 2015, an announcement was also made on what the new Metro carriages will look like. They have capacity for more passengers and more room for such items as baby carriages.

The expansion of commuter rail service is also continuing. Through the Swedish Transport Administration’s work with the Citybanan and Mälarbanan commuter rail lines, service is being extended all the way to Kallhäll. In 2015, the Administration completed the majority of the Citybanan and the County Council has also begun taking over responsibility prior to the line’s commissioning in 2017. 

In Handen, work began on the new Vega commuter rail station. The entirely new commuter rail station is being built adjacent to a new residential area and has been planned in collaboration between the Swedish Transport Administration, the County Council and the Municipality of Haninge.

In 2015, the expansion of the Roslagsbanan suburban railway also continued. At the beginning of the year, two new double-track sections were opened on the Kårsta Line. In December, the extensive renovation of Stockholm Östra was completed and rail traffic was able to resume between Östra Station and the Universitetet Station.

Passenger confidence in public transport

Regular measurements are taken of how satisfied the passengers are with public transport through so-called on-board surveys. In interviews, passengers can say how satisfied they are and link it to factors such as punctuality, traffic information, congestion, cleaning and security. In 2015, the highest percentage of all time was measured with regard to satisfied customers in public transport. In December, 81 per cent of the passengers were satisfied with public transport. The annual result for the same survey shows that the proportion of satisfied passengers in public transport increased from 77 to 78 per cent. This is the highest percentage since the measurements began in 2000.

The confidence of County residents in public transport is also measured regularly. These measurements also include people who do not take public transport and provide a different result than the on-board surveys. Around four out of ten County residents say that they have confidence in public transport. Loyal passengers accordingly have greater confidence in public transport than the residents who do not take public transport. 

New Karolinska Solna construction. Photo

Healthcare modernisation and expansion

Stockholm County’s residents live increasingly longer just like the residents in the rest of the country. The oldest segment of the population is a large group with a growing need for good community service. This means that the offering of care and public transport needs to be adapted and changed for the future. More and more residents are placing new requirements on healthcare services, such as accessibility in digital channels, but also on other aspects such as being able to interact with healthcare based on one’s own personal circumstances. 

Future Plan for Health and Medical Care now being implemented

In 2014, work was begun on implementing the Future Plan for Health and Medical Care in Stockholm County Council. In concrete terms, this means that the County Council is building new facilities, renovating old and developing new ways of working that strengthen healthcare and provide a more accessible and efficient healthcare where more patients receive the right care, at the right time and in the right place.

The Future Plan is the starting point in all efforts now being made in healthcare and means that the County Council is taking a coordinated grasp of the development of a more patient-centred, effective and equal care. Within healthcare, a rapid medical and technical development is under way where new treatment methods provide new conditions. The population composition is also changing strongly and the group of elderly residents is becoming substantially larger than before at the same time that many children are being born.

Patient confidence in healthcare 2015

It is important that the residents of Stockholm County have a great deal of confidence in the healthcare services. This confidence can affect how individuals seek care and thereby lead to direct effects on the state of health and on how different resources in the healthcare system are best used. This confidence is measured at a population level twice a year through the Healthcare Barometer national population survey. The results for 2015 show that 64 per cent of those asked in the County have great confidence in healthcare services. The results are on the same level as 2014 and Sweden in general. Confidence in healthcare has been stable and high for the past decade, with a weak increasing trend.