A pilot programme in Espoo will offer on-demand first- and last-mile transport after winning a competition for innovation of mobility in Finland.
Helsinki Regional Transport Authority (HSL) will deliver the six-month pilot in the Eastern area of Espoo, Finland’s second largest city, in partnership with on-demand public mobility operator ViaVan. Passengers will be able to book rides on high capacity shared transport through a mobile phone app, which will display identifying information about the vehicle. The scheme, which will operate on weekdays offering rides between four local train stations and five Metro stations, is designed to complement existing public transport options; offering shared mobility at an introductory cost of €2 per journey until 15 October 2019, with ‘the convenience and flexibility of a personal vehicle’.
Tero Anttila, head of HSL’s Public Transport Department, said: “The purpose of the experiment is to get an idea of how customers view the service and whether a similar service could sometimes serve as a complement to traditional public transport. All measures to increase the popularity of public transport and other wise modes of transportation are welcome.”
The on-demand mobility pilot is to be implemented after ViaVan’s proposal was selected as a winner of HSL’s 2018 IdeaLab competition, aimed at finding innovative solutions for mobility in Finland. Winners were allocated funding of €500,000 to develop pilots of their service innovations. ViaVan has deployed similar services in London, Berlin, Amsterdam and Milton Keynes.
ViaVan CEO Chris Snyder said: “ViaVan is redefining mobility across Europe, and we’re delighted to have been selected by HSL, an innovator in Europe’s transportation sector, to launch this ground-breaking service. We believe that the easier it is to take public transport, the more people will reliably choose it over their private vehicle; and we’re excited to provide Espoo residents with this affordable, convenient, and eco-friendly transportation alternative.”