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Ten years from now, transportation in Helsinki may operate very differently from the current system.
The service will be run by transportation operators, through which the regular citizen can buy all they want with a click. This does not only entail public transportation within the city, but also carpool, taxi, a train ticket to Tampere or parking fees in the city centre.
Few want to own their own car in future, when everything can be shared. If one wishes to travel from Puotila to Pukinmäki, the "route planner" of 2025 will provide information on where to change the city bike for a car due to impending rain, in addition to information on the fastest connection.
The City of Helsinki believes in the model so strongly that it plans to test it at the turn of the year with a few major employers in Vallila.
Smart transport solutions create more efficient travel- and logistics chains and an overview of the status of the transport system in real-time. The idea is that the travellers will be able to select several service options and to easily combine them into suitable travel chains: private car, on foot, bicycle, bus, taxi, demand responsive transport, carpooling, car and transport joint use, tram, metro, train or aeroplane. This would lead to a reduced need for car ownership or for the construction of parking spaces and streets. The crux of the idea is to achieve an increase in the fluency, ease of use and accessibility of travel chains. Service accessibility also covers safe and trouble-free payment,"
The Guardian explained how it would work: "Subscribers would specify an origin and a destination, and perhaps a few preferences. The app would then function as both journey planner and universal payment platform, knitting everything from driverless cars and nimble little buses to shared bikes and ferries into a single, supple mesh of mobility." One's departures and arrivals would be in the hands, ideally, of a well-run utility.
The model itself is thought-provoking enough, especially with daily news headlines in other parts of the world of new transportation upstarts competing with traditional transport and treated as problems rather than as solutions, components that could be integrated within existing transport modes. Also gaining attention is the notion, that if the plan were to fly, so to speak, private cars could be made obsolete.