Scooter sharing boom in Helsinki

2019/05/23 15:06

Read in English 日本語で読む

There are a lot of electric scooter riders in Helsinki this year.

HSL's bicycle sharing (City Bike) ※ Refer:Bike sharing in Helsinki is getting traditional in the summer in Helsinki, but this year is a little bit different. The new vehicle came out into the sharing boom.

There is the same model of scooters, but they are in red, green, and other colors.

Let's check and compare specs and systems

  • VOI

    - Swedish Company
    - Started in Helsinki in Nov.2018(approx. 200 scooters)
    - Developping in 6 European countries
    - Price: unlock 1€ + 0.25€/min.
    - ※ as of 30th May, unlock 1€ + 0.20€/min.
  • TIER

    - Started in Berlin in 2018
    - Came to Helsinki March in 2019(approx.150 scooters)
    - Developing 22 cities in the world
    - Operating in Helsinki 7:00 – 22:00 everyday
    - Price: unlock 1€ + 0.15€/min.
  • Hoop

    - Finnish company
    - Started in Helsinki in May 2019(approx.100 scooters)
    - Developing in Dubai and Helsinki
    - Parking costs 0〜0.80ユーロ when park inside the Hoop Stop
    - Price: parking outside the Hoop Stop 1€ + 0.15€/min.
  • HSL
    - Co-operation HSL x Samocat
    - During April to October in 2019
    - Only in Vuosaari area in Helsinki(28 stations)
    - Electric and nomal scooters(altogether 300 scooters)
    - Price (electric): first 5 min. 1€ + 0.15€/min.
    - Price (nomal): first 5 min. 0.5€ + 0.05€/min.

How to ride

  1. Install app.
  2. Register yourself and add credit card information.
  3. Start the app and search a scooter near you.
  4. Tap the scooter you want to use and scan its QR-code.
  5. Paring and unlock.
  6. Ride.
  7. Park inside the operation area.

※ VOI examples below.

Common conditions and features

  • Pricing model: unlocking/parking fee + a few cents/minute.
  • No need to return the scooters to the stations.
  • Speed limit is 15〜25km/h.
  • Riders must be age 18+.
  • One riders/scooter.
  • Wear a helmet.

How the batteries?

VOI has VOI hunters. They find scooters with low battery on the VOI hunter app and go to get them. They charge the batteries all night at home and return the scooters to the operation area the next morning.

They get paid 3-10€ depending on the place and length of time the scooter left with a low battery.

Actual condition and reputation

Read YLE article ※ in Finnish

My impression for the scooters, users seem to be mainly tourists. As mentioned in the article above, fees are a little too expensive to use it as everyday transport. I have seen a Finnish middle-aged man saying "it's so much fun" while riding, so the scooters can be good for activity and occasional use. It is easier for Helsinki citizens if there is a subscription or it is involved in Whim.

City Bikes can be left temporary, but you are charged until you return the bike to a station. Sometimes stations are far from your destination, so you end up walking. On the other hand, you can leave scooters anywhere inside the operating area.

Plus, it is easier to go up slopes with scooters than bikes because you can just stand on the scooter without kicking or pedaling. In conditions of all companies, wearing a helmet is a must, but no one follows the rule.

Hoop charges a parking fee, not unlock fee because it is a solution to a serious parking problem, the local assembly discussing. A Helsingin sanomat's article about it.

Update on 3rd June 2019

A VOI rider was involved in an accident and passed away in Sweden. Helsingin sanomat's article(in Finnish) doesn't tell the cause of the accident, but there is a sentence that it happened at the end of a downward slope and the rider might crash into a car at great speed. By last year, electric scooter accidents happened 10-15 times a year in Sweden, but this year, already 40 accidents have been reported. Most riders going too fast and wearing no helmets.

Photos: Tier, VOI, Ikada