The services piloted in Helsinki’s Jätkäsaari included boat rides available to order, shared cargo bicycles and shared rides to children’s football practice. The rides to football practice proved so effective that the project published a free guide on how to organise them, allowing football clubs to free parents from having to drive their children to practice.
The objective of the three-year Last Mile project, which concluded this spring, was to test new services and solutions for improving mobility in the city and to collect experiences, feedback and mobility data to support planning. The project sought smart mobility solutions in Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa for use by residents, commuters and tourists. In Helsinki, the project’s pilots were carried out in the Jätkäsaari area, which has become a smart mobility test platform for both companies and residents. The realisation of the pilots in Jätkäsaari was coordinated by the City of Helsinki’s innovation company Forum Virium Helsinki.
Rides to football practice straight from school were a success – guidebook now available for download
The project carried out a total of eight smart mobility pilots in Helsinki. Of these, the rides to children’s football games and practice in particular proved to be an effective service model that remained in use even after the piloting period. The Helsinki-based junior football club Pallo-Pojat Juniorit ry (PPJ) participated in the pilot, in which the team’s children were picked up straight from school and transported to practice by minibus. The service saved parents’ time, provided children with meaningful things to do in the afternoon and increased families’ shared time in the evenings. The practice ride model can also be implemented elsewhere with the help of an open and free-of-charge guidebook produced during the project. The guidebook can be downloaded here.
Residents actively involved in the testing
The pilots received a great deal of enthusiastic feedback and development suggestions. The pilots carried out in 2018 focused on the mobility of tourists. These includes bicycle tours with audio navigation, smart parking for shared-use cars, ‘Uber for boats’ and boat rides from Jätkäsaari to the Market Square.
The pilots carried out in 2019 included ecological cargo bike transports, a network of shared-use cargo bikes, shared rides to football practice and games, and a smart pedestrian crossing that increases safety. Forum Virium Helsinki has already carried out several pilot programmes and created an agile piloting model, offering a low-threshold way of testing the urban services of the future and enabling small operators to participate as well. Forum Virium Helsinki purchased the pilots from companies through a procurement process and provided participating companies with facilitation and organisation help with carrying out the pilots.
“Agile pilots are a good way of testing new services that are not yet available on the market or still being developed, for example. They give residents the opportunity to be the first to test new services, provide the City with valuable user feedback to support planning and allow companies to test their services in a genuine urban environment,” says Project Manager Heli Ponto from Forum Virium Helsinki.
Now that the Last Mile project has concluded, the testing of smart mobility solutions continues in Helsinki at the Jätkäsaari Mobility Lab, the City’s hub for smart mobility projects and resident cooperation in Jätkäsaari.
The Last Mile project was funded by the European Regional Development Fund as part of the Six City Strategy for 2017–2020. The project was conducted by Forum Virium Helsinki, the City of Vantaa, Espoo Marketing Oy, Aalto University, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences and Demos Helsinki.
Last mile pilots in 2019
Last mile pilots in 2018
Photo: Jussi Hellsten, Helsinki Marketing
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