Finland’s transportation sector has drawn considerable international attention over the last few years with such forward-thinking efforts as the City of Helsinki’s vision for a car-free future, based on Sonja Heikkilä’s “Mobility as a Service” master’s thesis, and the city’s pioneering on-demand public transit service Kutsuplus. This promising start is now finding commercial success outside of Finland with innovative transportation companies establishing their networks in US cities like Washington D.C. and Philadelphia.

Among these companies are the individuals behind the company which developed the architecture behind Helsinki’s Kutsuplus, Ajelo. Following their success of the Kutsuplus pilot, Ajelo caught the attention of Dan Winston and Ario Keshani who were interested in developing a similar system in the U.S. After Ajelo was acquired by the U.S.-based Split, the company chose Washington D.C. as the location for its new transportation solution given the city’s progressive attitudes towards ride-sharing services. Split launched its service in the D.C. area in May, 2015 and covers the heavily-trafficked center of the city, offering an on-demand service which finds a middle ground between public buses and private car services like Uber. Split has seen steady growth and expanded its coverage over the year since its launch, aiming to offer an affordable alternative to taxis and car services for the gaps left by the D.C. area’s public transportation system.

Another example of Finland’s strong expertise in transportation solutions, the Finland-founded Ecolane was acquired by transportation provider National Express. The acquisition offers Ecolane an opportunity to expand its transit scheduling software and solutions through National Express’s extensive national network.

As proven by this international success, Finland’s transportation industry is home to a host of world-leading expertise in the field of demand-responsive transportation services. The next wave in Finland’s success may be found in Helsinki, Finland based Mobility as a Service innovator MaaS Global and their recently unveiled mobility service app Whim. The app, which is currently set to launch in the fall of 2016, strives to be an all-inclusive service which provides users with a single platform that unites all forms of transportation under one payment and planning platform. Following its launch in Helsinki, the company aims to expand the service globally, thereby helping to realize the systems envisioned by people like Heikkilä for a more sustainable, streamlined model for urban mobility.  

Read a Washington Post profile of Split chief executive Ario Keshani 

See Split’s website for more details 

Read about Ecolane’s software services 

Read more about Whim

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Reframing City Districts (ReCiDi)

A research project conducted by the Universities of Turku and Tampere which aims to form a new conceptual framework which will help shape the collective identity and common vision necessary to realize the future low-carbon and sustainability targets.

Systemic Architectures for Sustainable Urban Innovation (SASUI)

An action learning and research project conducted by Aalto University and the University of Tampere which aimed to form a better understanding of the architectural requirements for successful innovation projects.