Tartu launches cargo bike pilot project

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One of the cargo bikes participating in the Velorent pilot project. Source: Jan Henrik Pärnik

Tartu City Government has begun the Tartu Velorent pilot project, which will offer individuals and entrepreneurs the opportunity to use cargo bikes for organizing their daily logistics and will examine the interest of residents towards the cargo bike service.

During the pilot project, three different electric cargo bikes will be offered for rent, one intended only for freight transport, and two being suitable for transporting people. The maximum load capacity of the box on the cargo bike is 80kg, boxes suitable for transporting people are equipped with seat belts.

Tartu Deputy Mayor Raimond Tamm said cargo bikes are already quite popular in many European countries but are still relatively uncommon in Estonia.

"Tartu has set the goal of increasing the proportion of environmentally sustainable modes of travel in urban traffic. One of the options is cargo bikes, with which you can bring home food stuffs from the store, take children to nursery school or arrange corporate logistics. We want to test the cargo bikes at different times of the year, which is why we are not afraid to start during a rather cold and snowy winter. Year-round cyclists are growing increasingly common in Tartu and we have no reason to talk about cycling as a seasonal means of movement," added Tamm.

If individuals or entrepreneurs are interested in getting involved in the cargo bike pilot project and testing the use of the cargo bike in their daily activities, they can write to velorent@tartu.ee or call 736-1266. Within the framework of the pilot project, the one-week charge for using the cargo bike is €25.

The pilot project, which runs until the end of summer, is waiting for feedback from cargo bike users in order to jointly develop a user-friendly service. Based on user feedback, it will be possible in the future to increase the number and selection of bicycles.

The City Government's goal is not for the public sector to offer a cargo bike rental service; therefore, it would be welcome if the private sector were to express an interest in providing such a service.

The rental of cargo bikes will be organized by Tartu Linnatransport, which has the necessary technical base and experience from organizing the operation of Tartu Smart Bike Share.

Velorent has been implemented within the framework of the CyclUrban+ project, with the support of the European Climate Change Programme.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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