City bikes have continued to be popular during the coronavirus pandemic, too. In Helsinki and Espoo, nearly one in every three city bikers responded that they have used city bikes instead of public transport. Compared to the previous year, people have used city bikes less when commuting to work and more when running errands or doing physical exercise.
This year, the city bike season was launched in Helsinki and Espoo earlier than normally due to the coronavirus epidemic. In the exceptional situation, the use of city bikes has decreased by 20% compared to 2019. The season will run until the end of October. The users of the service were able to give feedback about their season by taking part in our survey.
The level of user fees and their clarity, registering as a user and buying a pass, clarity of instructions and condition of the stations received the highest scores. The condition of bikes, returning a bike to a full station, docking bikes at the stations and availability of bikes were mentioned as development areas.
Mobility has changed during the pandemic
The survey also included questions about how the users of city bikes used to move around before the pandemic and what means they mostly have used during it. Before the pandemic, the most popular mode of transport was public transport, because it had been the most common mode of transport for 47% of respondents. However, the use of public transport had decreased significantly during the pandemic: only 15% of respondents said that they mostly travel by public transport.
By contrast, the use of car had increased during the pandemic. Before the pandemic, 7% of respondents mostly used they cars to move around, but the percentage had increased to 15% during the pandemic. In addition, people had increasingly walked and cycled.
Nearly 40% of city bikers responded that the coronavirus pandemic has not affected the way they use city bikes. Less than a third of the respondents stated that their use of city bikes had increased, and a corresponding number of respondents stated that their use of city bikes had decreased.
People using the bikes in both Helsinki and Espoo are the most satisfied
The majority of respondents, 74%, use the city bikes in Helsinki, while 8% use them in Espoo and 18% in both cities. In Espoo, the number of city bike users driving a car is higher than in Helsinki. In Espoo, city bikes were also used more to replace car journeys than in Helsinki.
People using city bikes both in Helsinki and Espoo use them more often and are more willing to recommend the service to their friends than people who use the bikes only in Helsinki or Espoo.
The city bike customer survey was conducted online in Finnish, Swedish and English between 24 and 30 September. The link to the survey was sent to the respondents in a customer newsletter, and it was also shared in social media channels. Approximately 13% of people who have used city bikes this season completed the survey. A prize draw for 25 HSL day ticket codes was held for all respondents. The prizes have been delivered to the winners.
The results of the survey will be used to develop the city bike service, because we want to maintain the high quality of the service.