People, Environment

Emission-Free Bike Taxis in Finland

Emission-Free Bike Taxis in FinlandEmission-Free Bike Taxis in Finland

Eco-conscious commuters now have a new option for getting around some of Finland’s urban centers. Battery-assisted bike taxis became part of the landscape in Helsinki, Kuopio and Porvoo, providing transportation over short distances for two passengers at a time. Commuters who want to leave a low carbon footprint can seek out one of three bike taxis deployed in Helsinki, Kuopio in northeast Finland and Porvoo, some 50 kilometers east of Helsinki, reported. Prospective customers need only look out for the distinctive green vehicles resembling rickshaws and their youthful drivers clad in bright green.  The taxis will ply set routes in the three cities, but passengers may also hail taxis to take them to their desired destinations, in the same way they would hail a regular taxi. “If demand really takes off, we can relocate one bike from Porvoo to Helsinki,” said Timo Helle, who came up with the idea. His company’s nine bikes were sourced in China and cost €2,500 ($2,835) each. Commuters can expect to see the bike taxis become regular city fixtures for at least two years, after which Helle’s permit to operate will expire.