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City scooters come to Helsinki

Vuosaari, the largest district in Finland’s capital city, is to pilot a regular kick scooter and electric scooter service, supported by 30 city scooter stations.

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300 scooters will be rolled out in the Vuosaari pilot. Photo: Samocat
300 scooters will be rolled out in the Vuosaari pilot. Photo: Samocat

Vuosaari, the largest district in Finland’s capital city Helsinki, is to pilot a city scooter service with around 30 city scooter stations and 300 scooters. The service will include both regular kick scooters and electric scooters.

 

Helsinki Region Transport HSL and Samocat Sharing, the company responsible for the service, will run the test collaboratively.

 

The pilot will start on 15 April and run until the end of October 2019.

 

Mobility projects

 

The city scooter pilot is part of HSL’s Idealab project, which focuses on new types of mobility services in the HSL area. The second Idealab project is an on-demand transport experiment in the neighbouring city of Espoo, which will be initiated in the autumn.

 

“Our goal is to use the test in Vuosaari to see how scooters will work as part of our public transport services and as an independent mode of transport,” said Tarja Jääskeläinen, senior advisor, HSL.

 

“These stationless services will also be introduced in Helsinki this year. However, our intention in Vuosaari is to use stations, since people who are used to city bikes are familiar with this type of service. The benefit of this approach is that people will always be able to find our scooters in the same places.”

 

The service will be available through Samocat’s application. To pick up a scooter from a station, the user scans the QR code next to the available scooter using the application.

 

The scooter can be returned to any scooter station without the application. If a station is full, the scooter can still be returned to the station by using the cable locks available at the end of the station. The usage fee is charged to the payment card that the user added to the application when registering for the service.

 

“Samocat Sharing has implemented similar scooter services in Moscow and elsewhere in Russia. In the autumn of 2017, we ran a small pilot in Otaniemi in Espoo,” added Tuomas Korhonen, project manager, Samocat Sharing.

“Our intention in Vuosaari is to use stations, since people who are used to city bikes are familiar with this type of service”

“Our goal is to expand our operations to Europe. Our service aims to make it easier for people to move in an environmentally-friendly way.”

 

The planning process was based on an online survey that received more than 3,000 suggestions from residents on where the stations should be located.

 

In addition to the results of the resident survey, the placement plan also included the views of Helsinki’s area planners and key details related to the public transport network, residential and employment areas as well as service and recreational areas.

 

HSL will pay Samocat Sharing for running the pilot and help market the service. Samocat Sharing will be responsible for the implementation, maintenance and customer service duties related to the service.

 

In the future, the objective is to make the service function without HSL’s support on a market-demand basis, should there be enough demand for the service.

 

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