3.7 million trips, as capital bike scheme ends for the winter

The city bike scheme for Helsinki and Espoo runs from May until the end of October each year.

File picture of city bike station during autumn / Credit: News Now Finland

The bike share scheme in the capital city region – Helsinki and Espoo – is coming to an end for another year, with the bikes being collected from stations and stored for the winter.

But during the cycle season users clocked up 3.7 million trips on the distinctive yellow bikes.

The bike share services is provided by Helsinki Regional Transport HSL in the metropolitan area – Vantaa has a separate scheme which is not interchangeable with Helsinki and Espoo.

According to end-of-season figures the number of registered users in the two cities grew by more than 10,000 from the previous year.

Earlier this year Helsinki made it to the top 10 in the new edition of the Copenhagenize Index, which ranks the world’s urban hubs on how much they’re doing to promote life on two wheels.

Based on that, the city bikes have established themselves as part of everyday urban mobility and public transport solutions for local residents.

In Helsinki each bike was used around roughly seven times per day, which is still one of the highest utilisation rates in Europe even though it was 20% higher last year.

Helsinki City Transport’s (HKL) Project Manager Samuli Heikkinen says he’s not worried about the falling use rate.

“It’s actually good that the utilisation rate has slightly decreased. It means that the extension of the coverage area and the new bikes improved the availability of bikes. There are now fewer cases where there are no bikes available at the station” explains Heikkinen.

File picture of Johanna Nyberg, Head of City Traffic Espoo / Credit: News Now Creative

In neighbouring Espoo, Finland’s second largest city, bikes were used only three times per day, but Head of City Traffic Johanna Nyberg says she’s still pleased with the results.

“In Espoo, we are satisfied with the utilisation rate this season. The figures show that residents of Espoo see the city bikes as part of the transport system and use them for their everyday journeys” she says.

Altogether there are 238 bike stations and 2,380 bikes in Helsinki. Espoo has 107 stations and nearly 1,100 bikes.

The new city bike season will begin on 1st April 2020.

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