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Helsinki Aims To Obviate Private Cars 276

New submitter NBSCALIDBA writes: Eeva Haaramo reports on Helsinki's ambitious plan to transform city transportation. From on-demand buses to city bikes to Kutsuplus mini-transport vans, the Finnish capital is trying to change the whole concept of getting around in a city. "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."
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Helsinki Aims To Obviate Private Cars

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  • Re:Not a single link (Score:5, Informative)

    by EvilSurfinCow ( 763679 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2014 @02:19PM (#47714007)
  • I expect will lock the inhabitants (or at least the non-wealthy ones) into those cities by denying transport outside them and preventing them from traveling to less spoiled areas.

    Quality of life in Helsink is very high. It's often rated one of the most livable cities globally. Few would call it "spoiled".

    Sometimes Finns want to get out into the peace of the country, but they have summer homes for that which they visit on a temporary basis. Society-wide, it's clear that most people don't want to move their main residence from the country to the city, they want to abandon the countryside for the city. The north of Finland is being depopulated at an alarming rate, with only the elderly remaining in many places, with all the young people heading towards Helsinki (or other cities) because that's where the jobs/nightlife/culture are.

    And note that because summer-home ownership is high, there are plenty of public transportation options into the countryside, and many people still own cars to get out there (it is driving within the city that is less popular and more of a hassle). So no one is being stuck anywhere.

  • by Karmashock ( 2415832 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2014 @03:59PM (#47714943)

    You are more social in a small town. You actually know people and they actually know you.

    As to distant farms... go to your grosery store and tell me where the fruit in the produce section came from. Bet its farther then 500 miles. If you're in the north east it could be well over two thousand miles. So that's just a silly statement.

    As to live music at night, you can get that anywhere. Go to a rural Italian farming village. They have music every night. Its THEIR music made by THEIR people for THEIR people. You act like music didn't exist before this absurd population crush. The ancient city of Athens 2000 years ago had only about 140 thousand people. Of that only about 40 thousand were both male and not slaves. Want to bet they had music, art, plays, etc?

    You don't need a big population for any of that. You just need culture.

    A modern example would be Santa Fe New Mexico. They have a population of about 70 thousand... and a full Opera company, plays, music festivals, many art galleries, a big artist community, etc etc etc.

    As to cities being easier on the environment, you're only saying that as an alternative to an endless suburban sprawl. I would agree that packing people in would be better then an endless Los Angeles with single story houses going on for hundreds of miles.

    However that is not what I am talking about. I am instead talking about small scattered towns with lots of empty space between. You can't tell me the small town is hurting the environment more then the mega cities. That's just silly. The concentrated waste that comes out of those cities takes massive facilities to make anything less then horrifically toxic.

    As to cities subsidizing the rest of the country, that is a product of our political system not a need of rural communities. Rural communities send their representatives to washington to ask for lower taxes and less regulation. If/when they cannot get that, the representatives ask for what they CAN get instead. Over the years the rural communities have gotten these compromises instead of what they actually wanted which was to be left alone.

    Logistically, there is no reason they couldn't provide most of these services themselves. If anything, the cities have made efforts to stop small towns from setting up their own ISPs. We get articles about it on slashdot all the time. read one of them.

    As to racists, idiots, etc... those are found everywhere. Literally. Everywhere. You can get concentrations of them in some towns and maybe a town might be run by such people. But that's just a roll of the dice. You get similar things in big cities. I will grant the big cities tend to have very bland consistent ineffectual politicians that don't especially represent or inspire anyone. Yes, they're rarely racists but they're also much more often corrupt products of machine politics. That is, they're not racists because what they really are is opportunists in it for the money.

    As to ignorance, I've lived in cities, suburbs, and rural areas. I question whether you've ever stepped outside of your bubble. And that being the likely case, I question your right to call anyone else ignorant on the issue. Your arguments were mostly stereotypes perpetuated by television that drones buy into because they don't know any better.

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