July 7, 2018 / 5:19 PM / 13 days ago

Pay with a song: sing or the engine stops in Finnish karaoke taxi

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Driver Topias Uusipere has been giving rides to music festival goers in the Finnish city of Turku since Friday — for a song.

Jenni Santero (L) helps Natalie Pekonen and Salli Degerman to pick a song before they take a ride with the 'Singalong Shuttle Cab' to Ruisrock festival area in Turku, Finland, July 7, 2018. Passengers can pay for electric car taxi rides by singing. Lehtikuva/Ville-Veikko Kaakinen via REUTERS

A pilot taxi service in Turku during the July 6-8 Ruisrock festival lets riders “pay” for their trips in electric cars by singing karaoke.

“The car does not move without singing,” Uusipere said. Users can make a playlist before the start of the ride, which takes ten minutes one way, he said. If the singing stops, so does the engine.

Around 100,000 people are expected to attend the Ruisrock music festival, which will feature artists including The Chainsmokers, N.E.R.D, Dua Lipa and Tyler, The Creator.

Fortum, a Finnish power company which is sponsoring the singalong shuttle, says the aim is to draw attention to electric cars, which can help reduce emissions that cause global warming.

For singers, the cars have another advantage, too, said Fortum brand manager Jussi Malkia: “The silent electric cars make it possible to enjoy singing without background noise...”

He estimated hundreds of people could use the shuttle during the three-day event.

Slideshow (4 Images)

Reporting by Luiza Ilie; Editing by Peter Graff

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