City scooters to be available in Vuosaari this summer

City bikes have become a staple in Helsinki and Espoo and city scooters are set to become the next big thing in the region. The upcoming city scooter service will include both regular kick scooters and electric scooters. The first test area for the service is Vuosaari, with around 30 city scooter stations and 300 scooters. After downloading a mobile application, users can ride the scooters for a small fee. HSL and Samocat Sharing, the company responsible for the service, will run the test collaboratively.

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


Photo: Samocat

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 the on-demand transport experiment in Espoo, which will be initiated in the autumn.

“Scooters are perfect for traveling short distances. And since they’re foldable, you can also take them on public transport. 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,” explains Senior Advisor Tarja Jääskeläinen from HSL.

“Some may have seen electric scooters everywhere on the streets when traveling abroad. 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,” notes Jääskeläinen.

The stations and available scooters will be included in the HSL Journey Planner.

A fully charged electric scooter can travel up to 15 kilometers with a maximum speed of 25 km/h.

Testing the demand for the service

The company responsible for the service is Samocat Sharing. 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 they registered 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.  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,” says Project Manager Tuomas Korhonen from Samocat Sharing.

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.

Residents participated in the location planning process for the stations

HSL commissioned Sweco, a consultancy, to draft the location plan for the stations.
“The planning process was based on an online survey that received over 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 the City 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,” explain Niklas Aalto-Setäläand Mikko Raninen from Sweco.

During the pilot, HSL and Samocat Sharing will conduct user surveys and mobility studies that will then be used to evaluate the future of the service.
View the location of stations on a map

How you use the service

1. Download
Download Samocat’s application on your mobile phone and register as a scooter user.
The use of a regular scooter costs 0.50 euros for the first five minutes, after which the charge is 0.05 euros per minute.
The use of an electric scooter costs 1 euro for the first five minutes, after which the charge is 0.15 euros per minute.

2. Search
Check the stations and available scooters through the application or in the Journey Planner. Scooters available for use are indicated with a green light at the station. Release the scooter by scanning the QR code on the rack. Fold the scooter open and off you go!

3. Ride
Regular scooters can be used on the sidewalk. Electric scooters may only be used on bicycle lanes or roadways due to safety reasons. Please remain aware of other riders and pedestrians while you ride. Only one person may operate the scooter at a time. You can return the scooter to any scooter station, either to an available rack or at the end of the racks using a cable lock if the station is full.

You can reserve a scooter through the application in advance for up to an hour. The charging period will begin 10 minutes after you have made your reservation. The reservation can be cancelled if necessary.