The “Peput penkkiin” (“Fit your butt on the seat”) car sharing experiment carried out by the City of Espoo during last autumn and early winter proved that it takes a lot of marketing effort and time to launch a brand new service. The experiment was conducted to test a car sharing mobile application designed to facilitate mobility in the Espoo area, especially during weekday rush hours and on the way to recreational activities.
During the little over three months of the experiment, 541 people downloaded the application. The application was used to place 190 ridesharing offers and 75 ridesharing requests. The number of actual shared rides driven was 40. Most of the trips were between the Espoo Centre and Otaniemi or the metropolitan area and Espoo.
On most occasions, rides were sought for trips with no direct public transport access, but there was also demand to switch from direct public transport and private motoring to car sharing. The majority of the rides were offered the day before departure, and the selection was at its highest on weekday mornings.
According to the feedback survey conducted among the participants of the experiment, car sharing is best suited to major events, 10 to 100-kilometre trips and regular trips. Car sharing is most likely to take place among friends, colleagues, neighbours or people that otherwise know each other.
Goal: all modes of transport under one service
The experiment proved that a single route search service combining, for example, public transport and private car sharing, is needed to decrease congestion and emissions and facilitate everyday mobility.
The more participants were encouraged to get involved in the experiment, the better the demand and supply of car sharing gradually began to be met. In addition, the application required more development work during the experiment than expected.
“Nevertheless, the participants appreciated both the car sharing service and the city’s willingness to try out new mobility solutions. What we learned for the future is that we should have one channel through which local residents can find all public and private mobility options. We should also develop different kinds of incentives to have people committed to trying and using ecological modes of transport,” says Development Manager Valia Wistuba.
“The experiment provided Espoo and the partners with plenty of new information on which to develop car sharing-related services and other mobility solutions in future,” says Johanna Nyberg, Head of Traffic Management and ITS and the owner of the experiment.
Co-creation with partners
The “Peput penkkiin” experiment was one of the City of Espoo’s digital experiments aimed to develop the services and functions of the city through digital solutions and new technology. The experiment tested a solution to improve the utilisation rate of the local residents’ cars as a step towards achieving the goal of becoming an emission-free city by 2030. Started at the end of September 2018, the open experiment time ended on 10 January 2019. Those invited to join the experiment were city personnel, local residents and other people moving about in the Espoo area.
The experiment was conducted as a co-creation with Blox Car Oy and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. Vapa Impact provided the “Peput penkkiin” brand and video designed for the marketing of the experiment. Service design students from Aalto University produced a concept describing what the car sharing service could be like 2 to 3 years from now.
The City of Espoo is continuing to develop sustainable mobility services through, for example, the Sustainable Espoo programme.
More information available from:
Valia Wistuba, Development Manager, City of Espoo, tel. +358 43 825 2905 email@example.com