Tartu's new shared e-bike. Pic:Ove Maidla

Tartu bicycle sharing system is ready to launch on 8 June

29 Apr 2019

On 8 June 2019, Tartu will launch its bicycle sharing system, comprising 750 bicycles in 69 bicycle parking areas across the city. A total of 510 bicycles are electric and the remaining 240 are standard bicycles.

According to Tartu Mayor Urmas Klaas, Tartu’s public transport is facing a major change: ‘In addition to the long-planned bicycle sharing system, new gas busses will also be in service and the entire route network will be changing. Tartu will receive a modern and integrated public transportation network, where users will be able to combine bicycle with bus rides,’ said the Mayor.

According to Deputy Mayor Raimond Tamm, preparatory works for the bicycle sharing system are almost completed: ‘The installation of bicycle parking areas is in full swing, bicycles continue to arrive from Canada, and software solutions are being fine-tuned. I hope that the residents of Tartu quickly adopt to the bicycle sharing system and that the launch will be seamless,' added Tamm.

In order to rent a bicycle, users must have a valid period ticket for Tartu’s urban lines or for the bicycle sharing network. Moreover, they need to create a bicycle sharing service account, on-line or via the mobile app. To unlock the bicycle, one can use a bus card or the mobile app. By return, uses can park the bicycle in any bicycle parking area, making sure that it is properly locked.

The prices for this service depend upon a few different facts like period of ticket, combination with urban lines, etc. However, they are definitely affordable: The first 60 minutes of using a bicycle are free of charge and each subsequently started hour is 1 EUR.

The electric bicycles within the bicycle sharing system are easy to use, with the electric motor starting when pedalling and the bicycle being free of any additional control devices.

The bicycle sharing system service is organised by Tartu Linnatransport, a division of the city which also includes technicians responsible for the transportation of bicycles between the various parking areas as well as for repairing them. A telephone hotline is helping in case of any trouble.

The bicycle sharing system is being supplied by the Canadian company Bewegen Technologies Inc, that won the public procurement last spring.

The establishment of the bicycle sharing system is being financed by the European Regional Development Fund measure for urban areas (EUR 1.7 million, which includes EUR 250,000 from the city), the European Commission funded project SmartEnCity (nearly EUR 800,000, which includes EUR 133,000 from the city) and Tartu’s budget.

The bicycle sharing system’s homepage http://ratas.tartu.ee  and the mobile app Tartu Smart Bike will be operational by the beginning of June. Until then, additional information can be found on Tartu’s homepage www.tartu.ee/rattaringlus.