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For passengers, the system was fairly straightforward.
You would log onto a website, top up your account, select the starting and ending points for your journey, and walk to the closest bus stop to wait for the pick up. By comparison, a single ride by bus or metro is €3.
Split’s , Ario Keshani, says it was a shock when he traveled to Helsinki last month and there was no Kutsuplus to call for a ride.
“It’s sad in some ways, because Helsinki was the innovator when it came to this,” Keshani says.
Taxi fares start at €6 and can go much higher depending on the distance traveled.
The project had two main targets: assessing technological feasibility and user acceptance. “The research proposal tackled a number of different problems and we were able to solve them to a surprising degree,” says Sampo Hietanen, who until recently worked at Finland, a nonprofit that promotes intelligent transport systems.
“We made some wild promises, such as predicting arrival times.
That’s not really something you can control yourself, because congestion and other circumstances affect it too.” Riders took to it.
A team in Washington runs the system’s day-to-day operations while engineers in Helsinki continue to manage the back end.
With a small number of buses and users, it’s more difficult to match up passengers who are going in the same direction around the same time.
This explains why Kutsuplus buses were frequently close to empty.
“But at least the flag is still carried here.” What can the demise of Kutsuplus teach other cities?
To answer that question, it helps to look at how the system got started.The roots of Kutsuplus go back almost a decade, when a publicly funded research project looking into new modes of public transport started at Aalto University.