City Bikes are shared-use bicycles that can be borrowed for a fee in Helsinki and Espoo. In 2020 the season starts in Helsinki and Espoo at the end of March/beginning of April. You can collect bikes with a personal cyclist ID and a PIN code. Bikes can be collected from all bike stations that have bikes and can be returned to any station.
This article covers information that a customer needs to know when using City Bikes. In this article, the following information is presented:
- The city bike service area
- How to use city bikes
- Pricing for Whim Users
- Possible extra fees
- Questions and answers
The City Bike service area
- In Helsinki 238 bike stations within an area extending from the heart of the city to Munkkiniemi, Pasila, and Kumpula. The City Bike area will expand in Helsinki on 2 May, with new bike stations introduced in North and East Helsinki. The most easterly station is in Vartiokylä.
- Espoo has 105 stations in south-eastern Espoo and Leppävaara.
- Locations of the stations can be seen from the application.
- There are 3,430 bikes available in summer 2020
Who handles the City bikes
In Helsinki, HKL (Helsinki City Transport) is responsible for the City Bike system. In Espoo, Espoo Technical and Environment Services is responsible. The system is administered by City Bike Finland.
How to use city bikes
How to get your cyclist ID and PIN code
- Choose City Bikes from the Whim wheel
- See the locations of the bike stations and available bikes.
- You can take a bike from any bike station where there are bikes available.
- Choose a station, tap “Collect bike” and confirm
- Your cyclist ID and PIN code are shown in the app. Your cyclist ID and PIN code will remain the same throughout the whole cycling season. For further information about cyclist ID and PIN code, please see here.
Picking up the bike
- Go to an available bike
- Press the enter button on the device in the middle of the handlebar and follow the instructions on the screen
- In Helsinki city bikes, the screen guides you with written instructions
- In Espoo City Bikes, the instructions are shown with symbols. Explanations of the symbols here and steps here (only in Finnish).
- You will need your cyclist ID and the PIN code, which you can find in your Whim app ticket view.
- Bike rides of up to 30 mins are included in your plan. For longer rides, extra charges apply, please see more here.
During the ride
- You can ride the bikes in Helsinki and Espoo and also ride from one city to the other if you wish.
- Making a stop:
- You can momentarily lock the bike in places other than stations.
- When stopped, press “Enter” and follow the instructions on the screen.
- Inside the handlebar, there is a cable lock – one end fastens to the front fork of the bicycle. Use the cable to secure the bike to a fixed object, like a post or a fence. The bicycle’s steering will also be locked and can only be opened by the user who locked the bike.
- Please note, that the bike timer will not be stopped when you lock the bike outside a station: If you don’t return the bike to a bike station within 30 minutes, overage fees will be charged.
- Follow the instructions on the screen when opening the lock.
- Please take the bike to a bike station whenever possible. There is a dense network of stations and returning the bike to a station makes it possible for others to access the bike.
Returning the bike
- Go to a bike station and push the bike to the rack. You can see the bike stations and the amount of free racks from the map in Whim.
- Wait for the bicycle to be secured to the rack, and the screen to say "Palautus OK" or "FINISH". This means you have successfully returned the bike and your responsibility for it has ended (as illustrated in the Pic.1 and Pic.2).
Fig.1: Successful return in Helsinki Fig.2: Successful return in Espoo
- After the bike is successfully returned, you should also see an "expired ticket" in the Whim app's ticket view as shown below.
- If there is a problem (This can sometimes happen if there are interruptions in data transfer) with the return process, try another place in the rack or, if need be, ride to the next station.
- If your ride was longer than 30 mins, the extra charges will be charged from the payment card that is linked to your Whim account.
- You can see the duration, length and the total cost of your ride from the app.
Returning the bike to a full station
- Take the bike to the immediate vicinity of the station, at most, 10 to 20 meters from it.
- Press Enter; Select “Return” (as illustrated in image 4) and ensure that the handlebar is locked.
- After this, lock the bike by pulling the cable lock, out from the handlebar and wrapping it around a fixed object, preferrably another City Bike at the station, and snap it into place in the slot on the front fork of the same bike you used.
- Once you have correctly returned and locked the bike, you will no longer be responsible for it. If the text “Return” does not appear on the screen, the bike is too far from the station.
- If you come to a bike station and there is a bike returned next to the station, you can pick up the bike in the same way as a bike locked to a rack.
- If you have problems with your Whim app or with your bike booking, please get in touch with Whim customer care through the Whim app Help Centre or online.
- If you experience problems with the physical bikes or stations themselves, please contact the City Bike Customer Service, tel. +358942578810 (Mon–Fri 7AM–7PM, Sat-Sun 9AM–5PM) or by email at email@example.com.
- If you have taken proper care of the bike and it is nevertheless stolen from you, contact City Bike Customer Service at once.
- Additionally, file a report with the police within 48 hours and submit a copy of the report to our customer service. If this happens, we will not demand compensation for the bike.
Pricing for Whim users
With Whim, you can get access to City Bikes either by purchasing the City Bike Season Pass or by subscribing to one of our plans (Whim Urban 30, Whim Weekend or Whim Unlimited). Please see more details on pricing below.
City Bike Season Pass
As a Pay-as-You-Go customer, you can now access City Bike Season Pass through Whim. The season pass gives you access to City Bikes in Helsinki and Espoo for the whole cycling season of 2020 (roughly from April to October, depending on the weather).
You can currently purchase the Season Pass through Whim for the price of 24,90€*.
Included in the plan:
- Unlimited number of max. 30 min rides
- If the trip is longer than 30 minutes, extra charges apply and these will be charged from your payment card registered against your Whim account. See more about them here.
*Note: Price is subject to change, please see Whim app for up-to-date pricing.
Whim Urban 30, Whim Weekend and Whim Unlimited:
- Unlimited number of max. 30 min rides
- If the trip is longer than 30 minutes, extra charges apply. See more about them here.
Possible extra fees*
- If you want to use a bike for a longer time (more than 30 min per time), it is possible for an additional charge:
- When a single bike trip exceeds 30 minutes, a €1 overage fee will be incurred for each additional 30 minutes.
- Maximum cycling time is five (5) hours. If you exceed 5 hours, an €80 delay fee will be charged.
- If a city bike is not returned to a bike station or to the Service Provider within 24 hours from picking up the bike, the city bike shall be considered as lost. A compensation fee of 400 euros might be charged to the user for a lost city bike. No compensation fee shall be charged if it is possible to prove, based on information provided by the User, that the User has lost possession of the city bike against their will, and a request for investigation has been made to the police.
- More info: see charges from https://kaupunkipyorat.hsl.fi/en/products.
*Note: If you have been charged an extra payment or fine regarding a bike which you have returned in time, please contact Whim Customer Care, sharing with us the receipt for the extra charge and/or fine you were assessed.
Questions and Answers
- How and when can I purchase a City Bike Season Pass?
- I have purchased a City Bike Season Pass, but now wish to upgrade to a paid plan (e.g. Urban 30) - can I get a refund?
- Will my pin code stay the same throughout the whole cycling season?
- What do the error symbols shown on the bike screen mean?
How and when can I purchase a City Bike Season Pass?
City Bike Season Pass will be available to purchase through Whim by the time City Bike season starts. You can purchase the season pass either
- by going to your Whim app home view and tapping the City Bike Season Pass banner
- or by tapping the Whim Wheel, selecting bikes and selecting City Bike Season Pass
Your season pass will be live in your ticket view for the duration of the whole cycling season, which usually lasts roughly from April to October, depending on the weather.
I have purchased a City Bike Season Pass, but now wish to upgrade to a paid plan (e.g. Urban 30) - can I get a refund?
Unfortunately, we will not offer any refunds in the case that you have already purchased City Bike Season Pass and wish to then start a paid plan through Whim. If you have already purchased the City Bike Season Pass through Whim and decide to subscribe to a paid plan this will not affect your season pass, which will stay active until the end of the season.
Will my pin code stay the same throughout the whole cycling season?
If you have purchased a City Bike Season Pass through Whim, your cyclist ID and pin code will remain the same throughout the whole season 2020.
If you are using City Bikes as part of a Whim subscription plan (Urban 30, Weekend or Unlimited) your cyclist ID and pin code will remain the same while your plan is active. If you drop out of the plan, e.g. due to a holiday, your cyclist ID and pin code will no longer be usable for that time period.
What do the error symbols shown on the bike screen mean?
If you see an error symbol on the bike screen while using city bikes, kindly check the list of error symbols for its explanation from here.