Tartu Smart Bikes travel 1.5 million kilometers in first three months

Electric bikes parked by Tartu Kaubamaja.
Electric bikes parked by Tartu Kaubamaja. Source: AIli Vahtla/ERR

Tartu Smart Bike Share bicycles have covered 1.5 million kilometres since the share scheme launched in June.

Since it first opened on Jun. 8, more than 532,000 rides having been taken on the 750 bikes situated around the city. During the summer months, Tartu Smart Bike Share had nearly 20,000 active users.

In the first week following the end of the discount period there are still 7000 active users who have purchased either a Tartu Smart Bike Share membership or bus period ticket required to use a bicycle.

Tartu Deputy Mayor Raimond Tamm welcomed the attention that the arrival of Tartu Smart Bike Share brought to using bicycles.

"I know that there were many drivers who left their cars at home and chose a more sustainable method of traveling by bicycle. I myself am one of those drivers. When looking at the city, it seemed that there were many more personal bicycles in the city environment this summer, which was perhaps due to the positive influence of Tartu Smart Bike Share," said Tamm.

The average distance travelled by Tartu Smart Bike Share bicycles is around 2000 kilometres. Some bicycles have already exceeded a distance of 5000 kilometres. More than five trips have been taken for each person living in Tartu.

Tartu Smart Bikes have traveled 1.5 million km since they launched in the city in June. Source: Tartu City Government

According to Roman Meeksa, Head of the Tartu City Transport Unit, the higher than anticipated level of interest put the entire team to the test. "Within the first 40 days the same distance was covered in Tartu that our bicycle supplier, Bewegen, had forecast for the first two years, based on its experience from other cities. Thanks to this experience we are now much better prepared for upcoming in-season periods," said Meeks.

As of Jul. 25, new terms of use and a price list for violations have entered into force for Tartu Smart Bike Share. Rules and the fines imposed for violations were specified in greater detail in the new terms of use, said Meeks. More than 100 contractual penalties and late fees have been issued, and nearly 70 accounts have been blocked due to the misuse of bicycles.

Observations by city residents, regarding lost bicycles and bicycles being damaged, have been of great help to the organisers of Tartu Smart Bike Share.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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