Published on July 21st, 2014 | by Christopher DeMorro10
Helsinki Wants To Go Completely Car-Free By 2025
July 21st, 2014 by Christopher DeMorro
In the past century, automotive congestion has come to define city life for billions of people, and frankly, some of us have had it. But could you really imagine going to the other extreme, and all but eliminating cars from a major city?
A Finnish student outlined her plans for eliminating private car ownership in Helsinki, the capital of her native country, and the city has embraced it. The plan calls for uniting public transportation and ride sharing systems with a single smartphone app.
The Guardian reports that Sonja Heikkilä wrote the white paper that calls for a system that would appeal to a generation for whom car ownership is more a hassle than a need. Her “mobility on demand” system would see public transportation, car rental, and ride sharing initiatives linked into a single app. While you can do some of the standard things you might imagine, like rent a bike or make a reservation with a car sharing system, it also gives you access to the Kutsuplus system. This Uber-like mini-bus system costs more than a regular bus, but less than a taxi, and will pick you up and drop you off at your desired location, using an algorithm to maximize the number of riders and minimize the time between destinations.
The Kutsuplus, combined with other options, would make private car ownership obsolete in the city limits. Sonja thinks her system could be fully implemented, and the local government has embraced the ambitious initiative. The hope is to create a system so efficient and affordable that people will willingly give up their cars. With a local population of more than 626,000 and a greater metropolitan population of more than 1.4 million, that’s a lot of people needing to be moved around Helsinki on a daily basis.
Can it be done without any cars at all?