Finland’s capital and largest city Helsinki has put forth a bold plan to integrate public and shared transportation so that in 10 years residents will not need to own a car. The “mobility on demand” system will provide citizens with a “route planner” smartphone app that allows for one-click purchasing that combines all transit options. The cheap and flexible city-wide travel options include public transportation, carpool, bus, taxi, train, ferries, bike sharing and more.
The aim is for the integrated transit system to become cost-competitive with private vehicle ownership and also be more convenient and easy to use than commuting by car. As The Guardian puts it: “Imagine the popular transit planner Citymapper fused to a cycle hire service and a taxi app such as Hailo or Uber, with only one payment required, and the whole thing run as a public utility, and you begin to understand the scale of ambition here.”
The City of Helsinki will test out the model soon with employers in the Vallila neighborhood. Last year the Helsinki Regional Transport Authority rolled out a bus service called Kutsuplus that allows riders to choose their own route and pay for it ahead of time via a smartphone app.
“A car is no longer a status symbol for young people,” said transportation engineer Sonja Heikkilä, adding that “this could work, even though older people do not wish to give up their cars. Change comes gradually.”
Via The Guardian
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