Under the plan, all these services will be accessed through a single online platform. People will be able to buy their transport in service packages that work like mobile phone tariffs: either as a complete monthly deal or pay as you go options based on individual usage. Any number of companies can use the platform to offer transport packages, and if users find their travel needs change, they'll be able to switch packages or moved to a rival with a better deal.
It sounds like part Google Maps, part City Mapper, part Boris Bikes, part Uber, and part capitalist free for all — but the Helsinki vision isn't as farfetched as it might sound.
The inspiration behind an initiative that would send many cityplanners running for the hills comes from a master's thesis by transport engineer Sonja Heikkilä. Commissioned by the Helsinki City Planning Department, Heikkilä's thesis argued young people's changing attitudes towards cars, coupled with the growing functionality and takeup of mobile technology, could transform the way people get around the capital.