The Helsinki Regional Transport Authority recently began implementing a rather interesting new public transportation solution — a fully personalized bus service where you choose both pick-up and destination points.
The service — known as Kutsuplus — works something like a cross between a typical city bus service and a taxi service. The pricing is similar — a bit more expensive than a bus, but notably cheaper than a taxi.
The program is pretty simple, for those that want to use it — simply register, put money into your account, and then select your pick-up and destination spots.
TreeHugger has more:
Through a smart phone app, a user can set a departure time just minutes in the future. The app issues a ticket after withdrawing money from the wallet, and draws a walking map to the departure stop.
The heart of Kutsuplus is an algorithm that determines the most direct route for passengers’ requested rides and groups together passengers going in the same general direction. Similar to taxis, the ride price is calculated on a set fee plus per kilometer charge. So for a Kutsuplus ride of three kilometers, the charge would be Euro 3.5 for the base price plus Euro 1.35 for the three kilometers. This is more than a bus ride (which average about 2 – 4 Euros) but less than a taxi.
There are currently only ten Kutsuplus buses in service in Helsinki, but there are plans to roll-out another 35 or so buses sometime in the near future. As the service is still in its pilot phase, the hours are somewhat restricted — the buses operate from around 7:30 am until about 6:30 pm.
As a side note to those considering using service, the buses provide free wifi.