Visioita älyliikenteestä ja kertomuksia liikkumisen arjesta harvaan asutulla maaseudulla
The movement of people and goods is integral to economic processes. Under neoliberal capitalism, new transport infrastructures are built based on the idea that greater efficiency will attract capital and create new jobs. Investments tend to cause spatial polarization between regions, where some gain whilst others lose. This paper analyzes the latest changes in Finnish transport policy, which to a large degree focuses on developing the transport systems of key urban regions. At the same time, new legislation that emphasizes the role of free markets is argued to offer new opportunities for even rural areas to develop new integrated transport services. Drawing from two textual data sets, this article compares visions of rural transport services and rural dwellers’ stories about their everyday mobilities. It reveals that rural citizens wait for the welfare state to equalize the differences between people and regions, whereas the new transport policy offers them a role as active citizens who shape the transport market and provide services in co-operation with businesses, municipalities and third sector organizations.