Sometimes things work better a second time round. That is certainly proving the case for Helsinki's bike sharing scheme. It initially ran from 2000-2009, but when it was stopped under half of the 400 bikes available at launch were still usable.
Relaunched in the summer of 2016 with 500 bikes and 50 stations, the "Kaupunkipyörät" (city bikes) scheme has returned for the 2017 season with triple the capacity. The neighbouring city of Espoo is piloting 100 bikes and 10 stations, with these forming part of the Helsinki scheme.
To use the three-gear bikes, users need to register online, It is possible to do so for one day (€5), a week (€10) or the whole season (€25). Bikes can be borrowed for free for the first 30 minutes, after which riders are charged every 30 minutes. The maximum time for single use is five hours.
Two patrols move bikes from congested stations to those with fewer bikes and carry out any necessary maintenance. Various official and unofficial apps help users to find the nearest stations with bikes.
The scheme has inspired huge levels of cycling in Helsinki. The bikes were taken for over 400,000 rides over the course of the whole season, and the city's average amount of daily rides in 2016 was higher than anywhere else in Europe and America
The scheme has also been integrated into the city's popular commuting planner site and mobile service, Reittiopas. This shows users how they can include city bikes alongside public transport in their journeys when travelling.
To find out more, visit bikecitizens.net