Electric city bikes make Lahti a real city
The city’s shared electric bikes make cycling uphill a smooth ride, says a mother and environmental engineer who is very pleased with Mankeli city bikes.
For Sanni Kontinen, cycling is a pleasant way to travel to and from work and run errands in the Lahti area. It is also a leisure-time activity for her. However, the place where the Kontinen family lives in Pirttiharju on the Salpausselkä ridge poses a challenge: the long climb up the Kärpäsenmäki hill is an effort that works up a sweat.
Kontinen’s everyday exercise has become vastly easier since the city bikes arrived in Lahti.
“For me, Mankeli bikes were love at first pedal. Cycling uphill just made me smile”, Kontinen recounts her first Mankeli experience during the pilot season in the autumn of 2021.
“The arrival of city bikes in Lahti has been an extremely great thing, made even better by the electric assistance of the bikes. The electric bike makes Lahti’s countless uphill sections easier, and one doesn´t have to sweat. Mankeli bikes make Lahti a real city.”
Mankeli bikes are low-threshold exercise
Kontinen paid for the entire seven months when the first actual city bike season began in April. She wants to encourage others to use Mankeli bikes as well.
“In many ways, Mankeli bikes are a low-threshold form of exercise”, she emphasises.
“When cycling is made easier thanks to electric assistance, the bike can be used without sportswear. Compared to a bus, a city bike is free of schedules as a means of public transport. Another advantage of a city bike is that you do not have to worry about it being stolen or carrying locks.”
According to Kontinen, using an electric Mankeli bike is convenient and inexpensive: “The Mankeli app works well, and the real-time tracking of how many bikes there are at stations is an especially important feature for the user. The affordable price of the service serves as motivation to use Mankeli bikes.”
In her opinion, there is room for improvement in the number and location of stations in the city bike system: “Mankeli bikes would serve the city residents even better if there were more stations and they were located in the middle of residential areas, and if empty stations were replenished also in the daytime.”
“Thanks to the day ticket, Mankeli bikes make Lahti a better city also for the visitors. With a Mankeli bike, it is easy to travel to the Sports Centre, Lahti Harbour, or culture and nature sites for recreation”, Kontinen envisions.
Work, leisure and family on a sustainable track
Kontinen is living through busy years with children aged 2 and 4 and works as a project manager on wind and solar power projects in Tikkurila, Vantaa.
“In my current job, I get to promote sustainable development through renewable energy and thus realise a dream I had during my studies”, says Kontinen, who holds a Master’s degree in environmental engineering.
“Cycling as a green form of mobility, in turn, allows me to promote a sustainable lifestyle in everyday life and in my free time. The city bike system provides more options for this.”
City bikes are part of the development of sustainable urban transport in Lahti. They make it easy for Lahti residents to favour and combine low-emission modes of transportation. The goal is for more than half of the trips made by Lahti residents to be sustainable by 2030.
Using a Mankeli bike also helps Kontinen raise her children towards sustainable everyday mobility by example.
“If only I could transport the children by bike to the playground in the Lahti harbour, I would be living in a dream world!”
The carbon footprint of Finns is most affected by emissions from mobility. Lahti is aiming for carbon neutrality already in 2025. Promoting sustainable mobility is one step towards this goal.