This year, the season started in April in both Helsinki and Espoo. In Helsinki, 88 new bike stations and 880 new bikes were added to the previous 150 bike stations and 1,500 bikes.
Approximately seven journeys were made per bike every day in Helsinki, and approximately three journeys per bike in Espoo. Last year, approximately nine journeys were made per bike every day in Helsinki.
“It is actually good that the utilization rate has slightly decreased. It means that the extension of the coverage area and the new bikes have improved the availability of the bikes. There are now fewer cases where there are no bikes available at a station,” says HKL’s Project Manager Samuli Mäkinen.
“In Espoo, we are satisfied with the utilization rate this season. The figures show that residents of Espoo see the city bikes as part of the transport system and use them for their everyday journeys,” says Johanna Nyberg, Head of City Traffic in Espoo.
City bikes more widely available
In Helsinki, in particular East Helsinki benefited from the extension of the bike network, in line with the City Council’s policy. Stations were located in the vicinity of employment, service and housing hubs as well as close to rail service stops – i.e. in areas where there are the most people. The new stations were installed by the beginning of May.
HKL also asked for residents’ views on the location of the new stations online and received 8,336 responses.
The extension of the city bike service met with a positive reception and the utilization rates of the new stations have been in line with forecasts. Public transport nodes stand out among the most popular stations in the extension area; the highest number of journeys were made from Herttoniemi Metro Station.
“The city bikes have clearly become an integrated part of the public transport system. The bikes are popular, they promote health and make people’s day-to-day lives easier. The cost to the city is minimal and the system is economical for the users, too, making it popular. In the previous years we have received a lot of feedback from people in East and North Helsinki asking us to extend the service there. We are pleased that we have been able to respond to the requests and that the bikes have quickly gained popularity in these areas,” says Anni Sinnemäki, Helsinki’s Deputy Mayor for Urban Environment.
Last year the user fees covered most of the costs of the system. The city only had to pay for only a fraction of the cost.
According to a study comparing the popularity of city bikes around the world in spring 2019 commissioned by HKL, the city bike system in Helsinki and Espoo is one of the most popular in the world. The popularity of the bikes is attributed to many factors such as the low price and the good functioning of the system. Although the utilization rate has declined slightly following the expansion and increased number of bikes, it is still very high.
According to HSL’s customer survey, users of city bikes in Helsinki and Espoo are more satisfied than ever. The highest scores were given to the reasonableness and clarity of user fees, the condition of stations, registering as a user and buying a pass on the city bike website and location of stations.
The poorest scores were given to returning a bike at a full station, using the instant feedback channel, bike availability, returning a bike at a station, availability of bike spaces at stations and the condition of bikes. The rating given to the availability of bikes was up by 0.5 from the previous year.
“Users who use the bikes in both Helsinki and Espoo were the most satisfied. The integrated regional system makes people’s day-to-
Next year the focus will be improving the service
City bikes have established themselves as part of everyday urban mobility and public transport. We want to further improve the service. One of the goals is to expedite the opening of replacement stations in case of street works and to better inform users of any special arrangements.