FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)
TARIFFS AND PAYMENTS
HOW TO USE VILKKU BIKES
CITY BIKE STATIONS
REGISTERING AS A USER
1. Why can't I register first and buy tariff later?
To register as a user of Vilkku bikes, you must select a paid tariff before providing contact and payment information, unless you are using the per-minute tariff. You purchase the tariff of your choice while entering your payment card information. A purchase is required to link the payment card specifications to your user account. The tariff you purchased at the time of registration is immediately valid and you can start cycling out as soon as you have registered and received your username.
By selecting the Minute Rate tariff, you can register for free. By purchasing a per-minute tariff, you can complete the registration before using the bikes. Per-minute charging only starts when you start using the bikes. For minute pricing, the minimum balance is 1 euro. The per-minute license is valid for 24 hours from the moment you start using the bike. You can only buy a new product after the end of the minute price product. With the Minute Rate license, the pause function is not allowed.
2. I did not get a text message to confirm my phone number
While registering, if you did not receive a text message with the verification code of the phone number you provided, check the following:
1. check the phone number you entered for possible typing errors
2. check if the country code of the phone number is correct (Finland = + 358)
3. check if your phone number is given in international format without the first zero (eg 040123456 = 40123456)
4. contact your telecom operator to check if service messages are blocked.
3. The SMS code used to verify the phone number does not work
The SMS code used to verify the phone number is time-limited and expires in about 10 minutes. Please start registering again if the code you received has expired.
The SMS code can only be used once for a registration attempt. Start registration again if your registration is interrupted after entering the SMS code.
1. What is a Vilkku bike?
Vilkku bikes are electric city bikes that are part of Kuopio's city bike system. The city bike system is a mobility service consisting of the bicycles included in it, city bike stations for their renting and returning, as well as the Freebike mobile app and kaupunkipyorat.kuopio.fi website.
City bikes are shared bikes intended for short daily trips in the Kuopio urban area. The city bike is not intended for the same use as rental bikes, but their primary purpose is to enable many people to move smoothly and quickly from one place to another during the same day.
There are a total of 250 Vilkku bikes in use.
Vilkku bike lights are always on when the bike is used. The tail light flashes every time the brake is applied. If the bike is set to pause mode, rear light will change between rainbow colours.
Bike has been returned successfully when the lights has turned off.
The Vilkku bikes have disc brakes on the front and rear wheels. It’s good to remember that the Vilkku bikes are heavy and they accelerate to high speed on downhills, so that’s why the disc brakes do not work optimally. There is not coaster brakes on the Vilkku bikes.
You can adjust the saddle of the Vilkku bike to the right height for you. The cyclist's recommended length is over 150 cm (4,9 ft)
The Vilkku bikes don't have a separate lock. Using your own lock is not allowed. You must not attach anything else, such as a child seat, to the Vilkku bikes. There is a bell on the Vilkku bikes.
If you see somebody trying to use the bikes without permission, please notify the service personnel.
TARIFFS AND PAYMENTS
1. What is a tariff?
Tariff is a one-time fee, during the validity of which you can use any Vilkku bike
The length of the tariff for Vilkku bike is either:
one time / minute fee
day (24 h)
week (7 days)
a month (30 days)
3 months (90 days) or
season (May 1st - October 31st).
All tariffs, except the minute-rate tariff, include a free 30-minute cycling time each time Vilkku bike is used. The run time calculation ends when you return the bike. The free 30-minute period always starts again from the beginning when you rent the bike.
For uninterrupted use longer than 30 minutes, an additional fee will be charged for each 30-minute period that begins.
A user can use one bike at a time, and each user must acquire their own tariff.
You can purchase tariffs via the Freebike application or the online service at kaupunkipyorat.kuopio.fi.
With the exception of the Minute Rate license, during the cycling season, the tariff always starts from the time of purchase.
2. What do the payments consist of?
The price of using the bikes consists of tariff fees, cycling lasting more than 30 minutes, a break, paid parking and possible penalties.
The tariffs are divided and priced according to their validity period. Tariffs are:
per minute charge, 5 cents / min
per day (24 h), price 5 euros
per week (7 days), price 10 euros
for a month (30 days), price 20 euros
for three months (90 days), price 40 euros
for the whole cycling season (26.4.-31.10.), price 60 euros.
All tariffs, except the minute-rate tariff, include a free 30-minute cycling time each time Vilkku bike is rented.
The bikes can be rented as many times you want during the tariff.
Example: If you rent the bike at 12:00 and return it to the city bike station at 12.29, you will not pay any additional usage fees.
The use of Vilkku bike may incur additional charges, which are automatically charged to the payment card connected to your user account.
The reason for the additional fees may be:
1. Longer use of the bike
If you use the bike during one bike ride for more than 30 minutes without returning it in between, you will be charged an additional fee according to the price list:
> 30 min = 1 e
> 1.0h = 3 e
> 1.5 h = 5 e
> 2.0 h = 7 e
> 2.5 h = 10 e
> 3.0 h = + 100 e late fee.
The Vilkku bike can be used during one, continuous, cycle trip for up to 3 hours. If you exceed this period, we will charge you a late fee of EUR 100.
2. Paid area
There is an additional charge of EUR 1 for returning the bike to the paid zone.
The app will notify you if the return is subject to a fee and will ask you to confirm the return.
3. Bike’s break
There is an additional charge of EUR 1 for each half-hour period you start using the pause function. The pause function has a 5-minute waiting period to avoid charges due to negligent use.
The total time of breaks taken during the same bike ride is added together and the additional fees are charged based on the total time accumulated during the breaks. Returning the bike resets the accumulated time.
The maximum length of the break is three hours. If your break time is exceeded, Vilkku bike will automatically return to free use. Please make sure that the bike is in an area that the return is possible at that time.
The time spent on the break is not counted as the operating time of the bike.
3. How can I pay for Vilkku bikes?
Visa and Mastercard are accepted as payment cards for Vilkku bikes. The public transport Waltti card cannot be used for payment.
With the payment card added to the city bike account, you buy the right to use the bikes. Any additional and late fees will also be charged from the card.
Additional fees are charged for continuous cycling trips of more than 30 minutes. An additional fee will also be charged when the bike is returned to the paid zone or placed on a break. A late fee will be charged if the bike is at your disposal for more than three hours.
Your usage and payment history can be viewed in the Freebike application or by logging in to the online service at kaupunkipyorat.kuopio.fi, where it is also possible to print a receipt for a travel invoice, for example.
Contact Vilkku bike customer service if your payment transaction has been incorrect.
4. How do I change my payment information?
The payment card information you provide at the time of registration will be kept in a completely separate payment intermediation service (Nets) from the city bike service. Therefore, the payment card information cannot be modified by logging in to the online service of the city bike service or using the Freebike application. Changing the payment card used in the city bike service requires a payment transaction made with a new payment card. When the new transaction is made, information of the new payment card is forwarded to the payment intermediary service provider.
The details of the new payment card can be linked to the city bike service using the "new payment" function in the Freebike app. The function can be found in the Freebike menu - on the "human figure" tab - under Balance. Click Balance, then select New Payment. On the new Freebike 2.0. app you can add a new card by clicking on your account (your name) and selecting ”payments” and the ”add card”. Enter the amount to be paid (eg 1 euro) and the details of the new payment card. When you have successfully completed the payment transaction, the information provided will automatically replace the information on the previous payment card and in the future transactions will be made from the new payment card. The amount paid when connecting an new card will be transferred to the balance of the city bike user account. The balance will be used to charge different fees (tariffs and additional fees) arising from the use of the city bike service. For example, the next time you buy a tariff for five euros, you will only be charged four euros.
Payment cards linked to a city bike service user account can be charged retroactively for 2 years from the moment of registration of the payment card information. Charges will be made even if the card is disabled. The card issuer is responsible for charges and possible collection measures.
USING THE VILKKU BIKES
1. Where can I get help with problems
In acute problem situations, you will be assisted by the city bike customer service.
2. How do I return the bike by using the brake lever?
You can return the bike with its brake handles.
At the time of return, the bike must be in place and in the area to which the return of the bike is permitted (city bike station or paid area).
The brake lever reset is done by squeezing the brake lever 3 times in a row. Return can be done with either brake lever.
Squeezes should be done quickly but calmly. A suitable compression rate is three compressions in about 2 to 3 seconds.
You must make sure that the bike is returned correclty when returning it by pressing the brake lever. You can do that by checking the bike lights. When returned, the bike lights first turn green, after which they turn off completely.
If you cannot return the bike using the brake lever. Use the app to return it.
3. How do I connect a contactless card to my user account?
You can link a contactless card (such as a Waltti travel card) to your user account using the Register Card function found in the Freebike app. Contactless card allows the user to rent a bike without using the Freebike app.
To connect the card, you must first rent a Vilkku bike. The application provides instructions for joining the card to your account.
The unique ID of the contactless card is used only to identify the user. The card cannot be used for payment in any form.
You can only join one contactless card at a time with your user account.
If for some reason you cannot establish a Bluetooth connection or read the card, use another bike and try registering again.
4. How do I adjust the bikes electrical assistance?
All Vilkku bikes are electrically assisted. You can ride with an electric-assisted bike like a normal gearless bike.
The adjustment of the electric assistance level is done with the Freebike application or by logging in to the online service at kaupunkipyorat.kuopio.fi. There are three different power levels to choose from, which affect the maximum speed and acceleration of the bike.
The setting in your app is automatically applied to all bikes you use, so you don’t have to adjust on a bike-by-bike basis. If you change the assistance level during a trip, the change will not take effect until the next time you rent a bike.
The electric motor always switches off when braking.
The bikes’s battery is charged when braking.
CITY BIKE STATIONS
1. What is a city bike station?
The city bike station is an area for the renting and returning Vilkku bikes.
There are a total of 37 city bike stations. You can recognize the city bike station from the signs with the Vilkku bike logo. The number of city bike stations may change. You can always see up-to-date information about city bike stations in the Freebike app or website kaupunkipyorat.kuopio.fi. Some of city bike stations have also been marked with turquoise Decomark street printing.
If there are no Vilkku bikes at the station, check the Freebike app for available bikes in other stations. You can also check the surroundings of the city bike station.
At your discretion, parking the Vilkku bike is done with a bike stand or by placing the bike on the bike rack. If the station is full, you can return the bike to the immediate vicinity of the station.
2. What is a extra-fee returning area?
The paid area is an area in the centre of Kuopio where you can return the bike for an extra charge of EUR 1. This brings flexibility to the use of the bike.
By demarcation of the paid area in the centre of Kuopio, it is ensured that the bikes are available where people move the most and at different times.
3. I would like a new city bike station...
Information and user experiences are collected about Vilkku bikes, e. g. the network of stations and the operation of the service as a whole.
The plans and decisions related to the expansion of the station network are made in proportion to the overall scale, which takes into account, for example, the number of bikes in use and the demand for bikes during different times of the day.
The size of the station network and the geographical location of the stations are linked to the total number of bikes and the urban structure, ie housing, jobs, attractions, cycle paths, level of public transport service, etc.