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E-scooters more popular than taxis, but walking still rules in Helsinki

Nearly half of the journeys around the city were done on foot.

Wolt-kuski liikkeellä sähkökäyttöisellä potkulaudalla.
Food couriers are often seen on e-scooters as they deliver meals around town. Image: Sakari Piippo / Yle
Yle News

Walking was by far the most popular way of getting around Helsinki last year, according to results of a city transport study and survey.

The most common mode of transportation was walking, with 47 percent of trips done on foot. Walking was even more popular in the heart of the city.

After pedestrian travel came automobiles (15%), buses (11%) and then bicycles (9%), according to the survey.

During 2022, there were slightly more (1.81m) trips made than the previous year. On average, each Helsinki resident made three journeys per day, which was in line with 2021 figures.

The most mobile residents were school aged kids (7-17 years old) and people with preschoolers in their households.

The research material was collected through telephone interviews in September and October 2022, and the sample represents Helsinki residents aged 7-79.

The share of people using buses to get around last year was roughly the same as in 2021, but still clearly below pre-pandemic levels, according to the study. On the other hand, the share of public transport use was greater than the use of private cars.

Work-related travel levels in 2022 were roughly the same as the previous year, growing by a percentage point. The study's authors suggested that remote working arrangements have now become a well-established part of how people do their jobs.

Given the situation, the proportion of work-related travel is expected to continue to be lower than before the Covid era.

E-scooters more popular than taxis

Meanwhile the use of electric scooters greatly surpassed the popularity of taxis, especially in the downtown area, the study found.

During the September-October research collection period, around 5,000 trips were made by e-scooter in the heart of Helsinki while the corresponding figure for taxi journeys was about 3,000.

However, the use of the relatively new mode of micro transportation has not continued without problems, including concerns about safety, drunken riding, as well as how the scooters are put away.

However, the sight of the devices strewn across the streets of Helsinki may become a thing of the past, as the city announced plans last month to introduce designated parking spaces for them.

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