Can we offer you a ride?
Since August, the T2 Terminal at Helsinki’s West Harbour has offered a comfortable alternative for people with reduced mobility. You can now hitch a shared ride, and zoom to and from the ship at 10 kilometres per hour.
“We’ve naturally been providing assistants for a long time. Yet we wondered how we could provide even better service to customers who find lengthy periods of walking a challenge. Smooth traffic flow is also important for keeping ships running on schedule,” says Leonard Sannemann, Passenger Service Coordinator at the Port of Helsinki.
The port initially considered golf carts, but found a better solution in the Netherlands.
“I searched online, and also asked our sister ports for help. This led me to a buggy from Special Mobility, a company that specialises in passenger logistics solutions. It was recommended by the Port of Tallinn, which is already using something similar.”
The electric buggy was originally designed for use at airports, but also works well at ports.
“After sliding your luggage into the baggage trailer at the back, you just need to fasten your seatbelt and get going. The buggy is agile and has a long-life battery pack.”
Sannemann drove the buggy himself on the day it was introduced. The feedback from passengers was positive.
“Someone even said it was more fun than Linnanmäki amusement park. And there was an abundance of cheerful waving.”
You can book a buggy ride in advance through the shipping company.
“But we also provide service as required. You can request a ride at the info desk or in the terminal lobby.”
Very soon, some people from Helsinki Airport came to check out the new buggy.
“And so we ended up lending it to them for a while, so they could test it. But the buggy has already been returned to the West Harbour.”