Bolt, Citybee to launch electric scooter services in Tallinn

Bolt scooters for rent in Tallinn.
Bolt scooters for rent in Tallinn. Source: Bolt

Bolt (formerly branded Taxify) will introduce its electric scooter rental service in Tallinn on Wednesday. Users will be able to use scooters by way of Bolt's ride-hailing app. A second company, Citybee, announced a similar service.

Users of the Bolt app will be able to pick up a scooter by scanning its QR code. For first-time users, the app will display instructions in a quick tutorial, the company said.

In the regular pricing model, unlocking a scooter costs €0.50, and each minute the scooter is used another €0.10 cents. This means that a 10-minute ride, for instance, costs the user €1.50, with an all-day use maximum cost of €15. Until the end of June, users can unlock scooters free of charge.

The scooter rental service is restricted to users aged 18 or older.

"Where possible, we recommend the use of bikeways," Bolt founder and CEO, Markus Villig, said. "Driving on the sidewalk, users of course have to pay attention to pedestrians and pick a speed that is safe for the driver and all other people in traffic. Just like with every other means of transport, making sure everybody is safe is the responsibility of the driver."

Automatic fine for leaving scooter in wrong place

The scooters will be available at transport hubs as well as busy city areas. After completing a ride, the scooter can be parked at a safe location, advisably near a bike lot.

The precise areas in the city center and the seaside district of Pirita where the scooters can be left can be seen on a map within the Bolt app. Users who ditch scooters outside these safe zones will automatically be fined a penalty of €25.

Bolt will start off with 120 scooters in Tallinn, and is ready to increase the number in accordance with demand.

In Estonia, the service will be operated using Segway's newest model, NineBot ES4, which has a maximum speed of 25 kilometers per hour and an average range of 40 kilometers before recharging.

Bolt first launched its electric scooter rental service in Paris last fall, and opened a similar service in Madrid in April 2019. Bolt has 25 million users in 30 countries and will offer the rental as well as its established ride-share services through one and the same app.

Tech news portal (link in Estonian) reported on Tuesday that a competitor, Citybee, will also introduce a similar service, though no date has been announced yet.


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Editor: Dario Cavegn

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