HSL launched today, in partnership with ViaVan, Europe’s leading provider of on-demand public mobility, a pilot program aimed at providing a first-and-last mile shared transportation solution in eastern Espoo outside of Helsinki, all through a mobile app.
The six-month pilot will be powered by Via’s advanced technology in cooperation with HSL, and will pair multiple passengers headed in the same direction into one of eight high-capacity vehicles that complement and extend public transport in the region while providing the convenience and flexibility of a personal vehicle.
“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 smart modes of transport are welcome,” says Tero Anttila, Director of HSL's Public Transport Department.
“ViaVan is redefining mobility across the globe, and we’re delighted to have been selected by HSL, an innovator in Europe’s transportation sector, to launch this ground-breaking service,” said Chris Snyder, CEO of ViaVan. “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.”
The on-demand mobility service is one of the winners of the IdeaLab competition organized by HSL last year. The competition was aimed at finding new and innovative mobility solutions, and the winners received half a million euros for piloting their service.
Riders will be able to book a ride directly through the app to-or-from any of the five Metro stations and four train stations in the service area, with vehicle information - including the model and registration number - displayed in the app after booking for easy vehicle identification. The vehicles will be dynamically routed in real-time, reducing detours through the use of corner-to-corner “virtual bus stops” that reduce congestion and harmful carbon emissions, while creating the most efficient shared ride experience.
The service will operate in eastern Espoo on weekdays from 7am to 9pm, and will include wheelchair-accessible vehicles. To celebrate the launch, trips will begin at €2 per ride until 15 October 2019, with fixed and affordable pricing thereafter. The cost of the ride will be shown in the app before booking.
ViaVan has already launched similar services in cooperation with leading public transport authorities in Europe including Transport for London (TfL) in Sutton and Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) in Berlin, in addition to consumer services in London, Amsterdam and Milton Keynes. Globally, ViaVan and parent company Via, have been tapped by cities and transportation players to help re-engineer public transport from a regulated system of rigid routes and schedules to a fully dynamic, on-demand network with more than 80 launched and pending deployments in 20 countries, providing more than 60 million rides to date.
Download the app from your app store (AppStore tai Google Play)
Read more about the service: hsl.fi/en/on-demand