The city bicycles in Helsinki got a splash of colour last summer, when the Alepa chain of the HOK-Elanto cooperative took on the main sponsorship of the bikes. The yellow bicycles were available to locals and tourists alike to ride in central Helsinki from the beginning of May through the end of October.
According to Area Manager Merja Mustonen the Alepa colours and ads are an excellent fit for the city bikes, since Alepa is an urban grocery store and riding a bicycle is a city person's way to moving around.
"We are looking for new ways to reach out to and serve our customers. This media solution makes us visible to city people on the move. In addition, we want to encourage people to exercise and be environmentally conscious," Mustonen says.
The city bikes are shared bikes, which anyone needing city transportation can register to use. They are part of the public transportation network and maintained by Helsinki City Transport HKL and Helsinki Region Transport HSL.
In summer 2016, a total of 500 bikes were available at 50 bike stations. People truly embraced the city bike system, since an average of 5–6 trips were taken on each bike per day, and the bikes had more than 10,000 registered users over the entire biking season.
Next summer, the number of bikes will be tripled, as the bike network will be extended to Munkkiniemi, Pasila and Kumpula. Alepa signed a three-year cooperation agreement on city bike advertising, so yellow bikes can be spotted on the streets of Helsinki in two more summers to come.
"We are happy to be able to promote the well-being of Helsinki residents in this manner and to offer a service which brings added convenience to their daily lives," Merja Mustonen says.
Photo: Benjamin Ilmoni