Three month of public bike sharing. Picture: City of Tartu

First Balance after three months of public Bike Sharing in Lighthouse City Tartu

18 Sep 2019

Tartu unveils incredible figures: Since its launch on 8th June, the new smart shared bicycles have covered a distance of more than 1.5 million kilometres with more than 532,000 rides taken. During the summer months, Tartu Smart Bike Share had nearly 20,000 active users. What a success!

Although the discount period has ended, the organisers counted more than 7000 purchases of either Tartu Smart Bike Share memberships or of bus period tickets which are required to use the shared bicycles in the following week.

Tartu Deputy Mayor Raimond Tamm is very satisfied with this development and the attention which is now drawn on bicycles for public transport. ‘I know that there have been many drivers who left their cars at home and chose the more sustainable method of travelling by bicycle. I am one of them. When looking at the city, it seems that there have been way more personal bicycles in the city environment during this summer, which is probably 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. Statistically, more than 5 trips have been taken by each resident of Tartu.  

According to Roman Meeksa, Head of the Tartu City Transport Unit, the greater than expected popularity of the new Smart Bike Share put the entire team to the test. ‘Within the first 40 days the same distance was covered in Tartu that our bicycle supplier Bewegen forecasted for the first two years, based on its knowledge from other cities. Thanks to this experience, we are now much better prepared for upcoming in season periods,’ said Meeksa.  

All in all a very positive balance, but there is a dark side having to do with wanton destruction of the bicycles. That is why on 25th July, new terms of use and a price list for violations have entered into force in order to protect the bikes from vandalism and misusers.