City bike users are satisfied

Users of city bikes in Helsinki and Espoo are more satisfied than ever. A total of 9,185 people completed a user survey. The respondents gave the city bikes an overall rating of 3.84 on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 was the lowest rating and 5 was the highest. The NPS score of the city bikes, i.e. the recommendation score of the service was 59, which is excellent. Both figures were up from the previous year; last year, the overall rating was 3.81 and the NPS score 56.

The respondents evaluated various aspects of the city bike service. The highest scores (over 4) were given to the reasonableness of user fees (4.35) and the clarity of the fees (4.32), the condition of stations (4.23), registering as a user and buying a pass on the city bike website (4.08) and location of stations (4.04).

The poorest scores (below 4) were given to returning a bike at a full station (3.24), using the instant feedback channel (3.43), bike availability (3.52), returning a bike at a station (3.52), availability of bike spaces at stations (3.63) and the condition of bikes (3.7).  The rating given to the availability of bikes was up by 0.5 from the previous year.

Most city bikers use a city bike a couple of times a week (34%) or a couple of times a month (22%), but up to 26% use a city bike about once a day or more often (23% in 2018).

City bikes are mostly used for leisure journeys (78%) but well over half of respondents also use them for commuting (57%) and running errands (56%). A total of 15% of respondents said they use the bikes to do physical exercise.

City bikes support the use of public transport. A total of 29% of users often travel part of their journeys by a city bike and part by public transport, 42% do this occasionally. Another 29% always go the whole way on a city bike. Metro is the most common mode of transport on journeys combining cycling and public transport (metro 41%, train 24%, bus 20%, tram 12%).

32% of respondents feel they have saved money by using the service and up to 65% said they have saved time by using the the service.

City bikes reduce car use

Respondents who use a city bike at least a couple of times a week (5,525 respondents) were asked how many of the journeys they normally make by other means are now city bike journeys. Mostly city bike journeys have replaced journeys on foot, by bus and by tram, but city bike journeys have also replaced a significant number of car journeys.

“Nearly one third of respondents (31%) said city bikes have replaced at leas one car journey a week and 15% of these respondents said city bikes have replaced 2-5 car journeys a week. This means tens of thousands of car journeys  are replaced by bike journeys during a city bike season, which clearly reduces carbon dioxide and local emissions,” says Senior Advisor Tarja Jääskeläinen from HSL.

In response to the question about the most common means of transport over the past 12 months, public transport was the most popular response (41% of respondents). The next most popular means of transport were own bike (13%), car (13%), combination of bike (own or a city bike) and public transport (12%), and walking (10%).

City bikers using the service in both cities are the most satisfied

Most respondents, 73%, use the city bikes in Helsinki, while 7% use them in Espoo and 20% in both cities. The number of motorists among city bike users is the highest in Espoo at 25%, corresponding to the higher modal share of car in Espoo than in Helsinki. In Espoo, city bikes were also used more to replace car journeys than in Helsinki.

In Helsinki, city bikes are used more often than in Espoo, while the bikes are more often combined with public transport in Espoo than in Helsinki. Those who use the bikes in both Helsinki and Espoo ride the bikes more often and are more willing to recommend the service to their friends than those who use the bikes in only one city.

The city bike customer survey was conducted online in Finnish, Swedish and English. The link to the survey was included in the city bike customer newsletter and it was also available on HSL’s city bike website. The survey was open 5-15 September. The response rate was about 10% of city bike customers during this season. A prize draw for 20 movie tickets was held for all respondents. The prizes have been delivered to the winners.