Personal car use will be pointless according to plans by Helsinki to develop an online system that would allow citizens to get all the transportation they want in just one click.
The city is hoping to develop software together with transport providers that would let people buy tickets for the city bus or train, use a carpool scheme, book a taxi, and even pay city parking fees all from their smartphone.
Helsinki is reported to be planning tests of the technology at the turn of the year with major employers in Vallila, a Helsinki neighbourhood. It hopes to persuade businesses to join in and use their own funds to help build platforms that will enable employees to buy transportation services.
The city is taking its inspiration from a research project it commissioned, written by a local transport engineer, Sonja Heikkilä. The research presents a scenario where transport companies package services like the telecommunications industry: a citizen could, for example, buy a monthly package that includes a set number of kilometres for a rental car or a bus, while another could pay by the kilometre.
The reason why this could be successful, Heikkilä believes, is that young Helsinkians see transportation differently from their parents. ‘A car is no longer a status symbol for young people,’ Heikkilä says. ‘They are more adamant in demanding simple, flexible and inexpensive transportation.’
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