🚉 Metro revamp
To: Riedia Readers
Good morning! Today is Wednesday. In today’s edition of the Riedia Sweden Weekly newsletter, we're covering:
Stockholm's futuristic subway, climate protests, and debate over family relocation program.
The new yellow metro line, running from Fridhemsplan to Älvsjö, is set to be completely automated, like in Copenhagen, Milan, and Taipei.
What sets these trains apart is their absence of a driver's cab, replaced by a front window for passenger viewing. This new design aims to provide a unique metro experience. Furthermore, the automated trains will come equipped with essential safety features, including clear passenger information, camera surveillance, and emergency phones.
Construction is scheduled to start in 2025, and launch in 2034.
Exciting times ahead for Stockholm's metro system!
Children growing up in socially vulnerable areas in Sweden often face educational difficulties, lower future incomes, and increased chances of involvement in criminal activities, according to a group of economists who have reviewed relevant research. To address this issue, they propose measures aimed at creating more equitable upbringing conditions.
One suggestion is to assist at-risk families in relocating to different areas, possibly through priority access to housing, counseling, and reduced rent. Initially, this would start as a small-scale experiment focused on families with children at particularly high risk. This approach, which has yielded positive results in the USA, involves selecting families through a lottery. If successful, it could be expanded to include more vulnerable families.
While some support this idea, there are concerns about potential repercussions for children in the areas where families might relocate. Critics argue that the problems should be addressed within the communities themselves rather than through relocations.
Politicians have varying opinions on the proposal, with some emphasizing the need for good upbringing conditions for all, while others suggest setting aside a percentage of rental apartments for those unable to secure housing through the regular market, aiming to distribute these apartments more evenly in Sweden.
Huddinge station faces growing commuter frustration due to increasing train delays and cancellations.
Passengers report reduced train frequency and overcrowding, which is causing longer commutes. The regional councilor for traffic, Anton Fendert, attributes this issue to a national shortage of train drivers, further exacerbated by the removal of train conductors.
To address the problem, new train drivers are currently undergoing training, with 80 expected to be fully qualified by the end of October. However, it remains uncertain when this situation will improve. Changes in train frequency are anticipated in the next year's traffic order.
Despite receiving fines totaling 95 million SEK from MTR this year, there are no immediate plans to reduce the SL card price. Instead, the fines will be reinvested in standby buses and reinforcement services, with a focus on benefiting commuter train passengers.
Stockholm witnessed a massive climate demonstration as thousands gathered to voice their concerns for the environment.
The protest, organized by Fridays for Future, began at Mynttorget in Gamla stan and concluded peacefully at Medborgarplatsen in Södermalm.
Artists like 1.Cuz and Grant joined in to support the cause.
Greta Thunberg, who started the global climate strike movement over five years ago, remained in the background but rallied the crowd with chants on Götgatan.
Linna Gadde, an activist from Fridays for Future, expressed mixed feelings about the movement's five-year milestone. She emphasized the urgent need for prioritizing human rights and the climate over short-term economic gains, asserting that Sweden bears a global responsibility to significantly reduce emissions.
Service Industries Inflation : Service industries such as hairdressers, gyms, and restaurants are experiencing a significant increase in prices, leaving experts puzzled about the reasons. Chief economists from SBAB and Swedbank suggest that the rising costs may be unreasonable and driven by companies taking advantage, while the demand for services is likely to decline as households face rising interest costs and financial constraints.
Riksbank raises interest rates to 4 percent : The Swedish central bank has announced a 0.25 percentage point increase, bringing the policy rate to 4.0 percent. The bank cites inflationary pressures and the weak krona as reasons for the rate hike, with further increases expected.
Employees' Salaries at Facebook Sweden : According to Breakit's analysis of Facebook Sweden's annual report, the company's turnover increased to 4.4 billion SEK in 2022. However, the growth rate was lower compared to previous years. Despite this, Facebook Sweden pays the highest average salary among tech companies in Sweden, with an average of over 163,000 SEK per month for its employees.
Tinder offers subscription for most active users at a high price : Tinder is rolling out a subscription offer for its most active users, providing new features such as the ability to send direct messages to unmatched individuals for $499 per month. This subscription also includes the ability to access and view the most attractive profiles on the app. Only 1% of Tinder users will be offered this subscription.
Advertisements Coming to Prime Video : Amazon confirms that advertisements will be added to Prime Video in early 2024, with a hybrid version of the service being rolled out in several countries. Users can opt for an ad-free experience for an additional cost of $2.99. The number of ads on Prime Video will be fewer compared to linear TV and other streaming platforms.
Youtube's AI tools : Youtube unveiled new AI features including "Dream Screen," a green screen tool that replaces backgrounds with AI-generated ones. The platform also plans to offer AI-generated content ideas, music suggestions, and language dubbing assistance. The features are set to launch in 2024.
What else is happening in Sweden?
Traffic disruption after landslide : Parts of the E6 road in Stenungsund, Sweden have been severely damaged by a landslide, with repairs expected to take several months and possibly longer. The Swedish Transport Administration is assessing the ground and considering reinforcement before repair work can begin. The heavily trafficked E6 is a major route for commuters and truck traffic to Norway, and alternative routes are being used in the meantime.
Cheaper food at Arlanda : The prices in kiosks, cafes, and restaurants at Arlanda Airport will be limited to being no more than ten percent higher than in Stockholm city center, according to Swedavia's marketing manager. The justification for the price difference is the additional costs associated with operating at an airport, such as security screenings and staff safety training.
World through the Swedish lens
Indigenous Victory in Amazon : The Supreme Court rejected the proposal to reduce indigenous land in the Amazon by 36 percent, safeguarding their territories. The decision is seen as a significant win for indigenous peoples and a blow to industrial agriculture in Brazil.
Azerbaijan's attack could be the beginning of a full-scale war : Videos show an attack on Stepanakert, the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh, an area within Azerbaijan inhabited by Armenians. Former adviser Artak Beglarjan claims that both military and civilian targets are being fired upon, while local politician Metakse Hakobian says the capital is being bombarded from all sides, forcing everyone to seek shelter in basements. The attacks may be the start of another full-scale war between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
Experience the 1600s from the bedside, parlor, and alleyway and get to know the very first citizens of Gothenburg. At The birth of Gothenburg exhibition at Göteborgs stadsmuseum.
Get ready to discover, taste and learn about Italian wines, every other Wednesday at Eataly Stockholm. At Italian Wine Fair , enjoy four wine tastings, a mouthwatering buffet (think: cheeses, cured meats, pizza, sweets and much more) in an Italian setting, located in a beautiful former theatre.
Visit Exhibition: "Sensations" by Ewy Hamberg , where Ewy Hamberg showcases her abstract paintings, made with acrylic and dry pastels on linen canvas.
According to the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, the interest in mushroom picking has increased significantly in the past 30 years, but there are clouds on the mushroom horizon.
Sweden has over 5,500 kinds of mushrooms, but only about 100-200 are safe to eat. People in Sweden love to pick mushrooms like chanterelles and boletes in the forests.
Here's a fun fact: there are only about ten mushrooms that can make you really sick, but we have many more that are tasty!
However, there are concerns rising about deforestation's impact on these Earth treasures, there's a growing call to protect these natural habitats to ensure the survival of these marvelous fungi. So, when you go mushroom picking, remember to protect the forests too.
While the sun still shines and the weather allows it, explore the Swedish woods, enjoy the adventure, and maybe find some delicious mushrooms.
And if you do, cook them by frying them gently with butter and cream for 20 minutes.
Happy hunting! 🌲🍂🍄
by Viviana Levet/Riedia