Third of Tartu bike share bicycles awaiting repairs amidst part deficit

Cyclists using Tartu Bike Share bicycles.
Cyclists using Tartu Bike Share bicycles. Source: Tartu city government

Due to the shipment difficulties of bicycle components, more than a third of the Tartu Bike Share bicycles are currently awaiting repairs.

An extensive winter repair season should soon start for the bicycles in the Tartu Bike Share program as many bicycles need repairs. But as the entire world does, Tartu too is in the midst of a bicycle component deficit, ETV's daily affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported on Wednesday.

"A simple example is chains. Everyone of our bicycles needs one or two chains during the summer season and chains are just not available currently. The chains we ordered for spring were promised for September. These have not arrived yet, we were given a promise for November," said Tartu city transport manager Roman Meeksa.

Due to the repair queue, only 390 of the city's 750 bicycles could be seen on the streets last week. There are a little fewer than 500 bicycles on the streets of Tartu now and it has an effect on traffic.

"I have three parking lots in Karlova where I can get a bike and there are none left by 9 a.m. It has an effect," said Mirjam, a local resident. "I do not count on it in the summer, many people use the bikes then. But there is a big difference compared to spring, for example."

Although many of the bicycles are awaiting spare parts in the workshop, bicycles with minor damages might still be in circulation. This can lead to a situation where you ride a bicycle, but feel like something is off with it.

"I just switched it out. I felt like it did not have power and cannot get up Riiamägi," Mirjam said.

Oskar, another local and user of the bike share system, told ERR that you can feel the bikes being useless at times. "It is the brakes most often - they still work, but you feel like they need a little work. If it is an electric bike, you can feel the electricity function is tired and does not help much," Oskar said.

The bikes have moved around on the streets of Tartu since June 2019 with some of them traveling 20,000 km in that time.

The need for repairs continues to grow. "Since the period of winter repairs is upcoming, they all could use a little work," Meeksa said adding that the city hopes to get their hands on spare parts to have most of the bicycles on the streets in spring.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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