Ride-share city: Helsinki to pilot an end to car ownership

Image Credit: Flickr user Baturix
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The government of Finland’s capital city, Helsinki, will pilot an ambitious project to end the need for car ownership through a combination of taxis, ride-sharing apps, carpooling, and traditional public transit.

The plan may involve some type of software platform that allows citizens to choose from a wide variety of transit options, according to the Helsinki Times. The city plans to launch the pilot program at the “turn of the year” and wants “mobility on demand” city-wide by 2025.

“This could work, even though older people do not wish to give up their cars. Change comes gradually,” said Sonja Heikkilä, whose Master’s Thesis was commissioned by the city to figure out the logistics of their bold transportation plan. “A car is no longer a status symbol for young people.”

Another possible layer to the city’s plan is a simplified payment system, such as pay-by-kilometer or a subscription package that includes a bundle of transportation options.

Last month at the Atlantic Aspen Ideas Festival, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky predicted that mass private transit would eventually overtake traditional car ownership. It seems that Finland was a step ahead of him.


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