Cyclists on City Bikes on a Helsinki bridge at sunset. Photo: HSL

Highly popular City Bikes programme expands eastward and northward – See new stations on map

The Helsinki metropolitan City Bikes bike-share programme will expand from 150 docking stations and 1,500 bikes with 88 new stations and 880 new bikes for the 2019 season. The geographical reach of the programme will also expand, while current service areas will gain new stations.

New docking stations will be placed especially in the vicinity of clusters of jobs, services and housing as well as at rail transport stops – that is, areas with the highest numbers of potential users. Programme plans have particularly emphasized eastern Helsinki, in accordance with the bike-share system policies.

The programme owner Helsinki City Transport (HKL) also invited residents to express their views on new station locations at the City’s Kerrokantasi (Voice your opinion) online feedback service. The service received a particularly high number of responses – altogether 8,336.

“We were pleased with the number of responses, and we were able to increase the number of stations in the areas highlighted in the responses, such as Laajasalo and Viikki. The much-awaited expansion will spread the service evenly to all directions and all the way up to Ring Road I,” says project engineer Samuli Mäkinen of HKL.

City Bikes programme keeps growing in popularity

Helsinki and Espoo City Bikes were used for more than 3 million journeys in 2018. Users registered for the whole season 2018 numbered 48,500. Registrations for a week numbered 6,300 and those for a day 15,000. The bike-share season has been extended from the original, and the 2018 season lasted from April to the end of October. The popularity of the programme has produced a better financial outcome than expected, and the City of Helsinki’s share of programme financing in 2018 was almost fully covered with user fees.

The utilization rate of bikes in Helsinki is high by international comparison: bikes in Helsinki average 9 journeys per day, while the average with corresponding systems in many other cities is approximately 4 journeys per day. New bikes acquired for the expansion will ease the challenges for bike availability brought about by the high utilization rate.

The 2019 City Bikes bike-share season will be launched in both Helsinki and Espoo on 1 April 2019. At first, the programme will run on the previous docking station network. It is estimated that the new stations included in the expansion will be installed and in use by the beginning of May. As in previous seasons, registration will begin a couple of weeks before the launch.

On a map produced by Helsinki Region Transport HSL:
City Bikes docking stations in Helsinki and Espoo in 2019