Vantaa’s own city bike scheme starting in early June

A thousand bikes will be deployed in the new bike share project, but it's not going to be compatible with existing schemes in Espoo or Helsinki.

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File picture of bike wheels in cycling share scheme / Credit: News Now Finland

A project to roll out city bikes in Vantaa is on schedule, with the bike share scheme set to start operations at the beginning of June.

Vantaa City Bikes will be on the roads on 3rd June, and work to set up the bike docking stations is proceeding on time according to Vantaa’s traffic planning manager Markus Holm.

When it launches, there will be a thousand bikes in the city, with bike stations set up at 100 different locations around Aviapolis, Kivistö, Koivukylä, Myyrmäki and Tikkurila.

Originally, Vantaa had planned its city bike project without any bike docking stations, which would have required smart locks to be fitted to the bikes, allowing them to be located with a mobile app.

However, it has finally been decided that all the city’s new bikes will have docking racks.

City officials envisage three different types of user for the new service.

The first user might already use their own bike for short trips around Vantaa, but can now use the city bikes in their free time instead of their own bike or public transport.

The second type of user might commute by train, then use the new city bike scheme for the last part of the journey to work, instead of walking.

And the third type of average user might use the city bikes instead of short car journeys, for example to go to a shop.

While only one of these scenarios would mean a reduction in private car journeys, it does mean that local residents will be able to consider different transport options when the new city bike scheme is launched.

For Vantaa residents, traffic planning manager Markus Holm believes the biggest selling point of the city bikes is that they can be used to travel between public transport stations and work or school.

The final decisions on exactly where the bike stations will be located, and how much the scheme will cost to use, have not yet been taken.

“Bike stations will be located at stations, shopping centres and sports fields” says Holm.

The search for potential sponsors for Vantaa City Bike scheme is still underway, and is being carried out by Clear Channel, not the City of Vantaa.

The new scheme however will not be compatible with the existing bike scheme in Espoo and Helsinki. So Vantaa users will not be able to take bikes into neighbouring cities and leave them there, and vice versa.