On June 8, Tartu launched the first public bike sharing system in the Baltic countries. The sharing system consists of 750 bikes – 510 electric bikes and 240 regular bikes – and 69 rental points all across town.
Tartu bikes are also smart bikes: each electric bike is equipped with a next generation motor and a GPS tracker, which can communicate with the bike share system in real-time. This provides information about the bike’s location and helps keep track of all the bikes in the system. The software installed in the bikes collects data for statistics about rides, speed, distances etc. which are also displayed to the individual user via a small screen. The pricing of the bike rental is user-friendly: for owners of the Tartu bus season ticket, the first hour of renting a bike is free with each additional hour costing 1 euro. For others, the annual ticket costs 30 euros.
The interest of citizens in the bike sharing system exceeded all expectations and in the first 24 hours, 16,797 rides were made, which translates to 42,000 km or rather, the new bikes had traveled more kilometers than it takes to take a trip around the planet. Statistics show that in the first day, 15,000 people have signed up for the system and the average length of one trip during the first weekend was 2.5 kilometers.
Tartu City hopes that the bike sharing system will help reduce the number of cars on the road, cut down on CO2 emissions and offer a new, sustainable and environmentally friendly mode of transport to all citizens and visitor s of Tartu.
More information on Tartu bike sharing: https://ratas.tartu.ee/