New Collaboration May Make It Possible to Hopp from Bus to E-Scooter in Same Trip

Hopp scooters in front of Mount Esja in Reykjavík

A new collaboration between electric scooter company Hopp and the Strætó bus service could make it possible for commuters to easily transfer from bus to scooter using the same app, Vísir reports.

When Hopp launched in Reykjavík in 2019, many observers thought it was a death knell for Strætó—that given the option of jumping on an e-scooter, many riders would stop taking the bus entirely. This hasn’t proven to be the case, though. In fact, the two transport modes seem to complement one another, as evidenced by the e-scooters often strewn around city bus shelters.

Two modes of transit, one app

Hopp was started by software developers and so it only makes sense that they’d be thinking about new ways to integrate their own software and app with Strætó’s. Hopp CEO Sæunn Ósk Unnsteinsdóttir says she believes it should be possible, for instance, for the company’s e-scooters to pop up on the bus map in the Strætó app.

“This is, of course, super important, because we know people are starting to pick up the Hopp app to look for scooters when they’re on the bus and coming into the city, for instance,” she explained.

Both Hopp and Strætó would also like it to be possible to use the same app to pay for a trip that is split between bus and scooter.

The technology exists

“Whether it’s a credit with Hopp or [the Strætó app] redirects you to the Hopp app, these are just technical implementations that need to happen when the conversation gets underway,” continued Sæunn. Strætó CEO Jóhannes Rúnarsson agrees. The technology exists, he says, it’s just a matter of kick-starting the process.

Other e-scooters have entered the Icelandic market, but Hopp is still the scooter of choice in Reykjavík, and in Iceland more generally. Outside of the capital, the company also has fleets in Akranes, Akureyri, Egilsstaðir, Hveragerði, Reykjanesbær, Selfoss, and the Westman Islands. Abroad, it has e-scooters in three cities in Spain, as well as Norway, Greece, and the Faroe Islands. Hopp records some 6,000 trips a day on its scooters and Sæunn foresees a day where there are e-scooter docks next to every bus station in the city. The company now employs 50 people and is growing its fleet from 1,000 scooters around the capital to 3,000. It is also looking to expand into nearby Árbær and Grafarvogur, as well as a number of other towns in Iceland and abroad (Poland, Hungary, Italy) in the coming year.

Students Keep Busy, Give Back at Summer Work School

The School of Work was established with the mission of providing young people with something to do over the summer and, more broadly, to prepare them for the labour market. The first School of Work was opened in Reykjavík in 1951, but since then, many towns around the country have followed suit with their own schools. This week, RÚV spoke to spoke to students at Árbæjarskóli who are taking part in the popular program.

Outdoor work, positive messages

The School of Work is open to students in 8th – 10th grade. Per the City of Reykjavík website, its main function “is to provide students…with constructive summer jobs, as well as education in a safe working environment.” All work is paid and takes place outdoors, and most jobs focus on small public service projects—gardening and maintenance. Hours depend on the student’s age; 8th grades work 3.5 hours a day, either in the morning or afternoon, while 9th and 10th graders work full, seven-hour shifts. Generally, participants are grouped with students from their school, although not necessarily their close friends, as organizers “believe it is healthy for everyone to meet new people and work with someone other than their closest friends.”

In addition to their work duties, students participate in discussions and team-building games lead by peer educators from Hitt Húsið’s Peer Education Center. These activities “seek, among other things, to enhance the teenagers’ self-image.”

Helps students get used to the responsibility of having a job

Students Ólöf and Jón weeded, designed, and replanted a flower bed at the Árbær Open Air Museum. This is the bed before. (Photo via Vinnuskóli Reykjavíkur, FB)

“I applied mainly to earn money to go abroad and have something to spend, and also just to have something to do over the summer,” said Hera Arnadóttir. Hera said the Work School is pretty fun, although she doesn’t like the spiders and bugs.

Students Ólöf and Jón weeded, designed, and replanted a flower bed at the Árbær Open Air Museum. This is the bed after. (Photo via Vinnuskóli Reykjavíkur, FB)

Oddur Sverrisson was busy pulling up chickweed when approached for an interview. He said the Work School is important for young people because it provides them with a routine, teaches them how to manage the money they earn, and get used to the responsibility of having a job.