On 8 June 2019, Tartu unveiled its bike share system, comprised of 750 bikes in 69 bike share stations across the city.
Tartu Smart Bike Share has acquired next generation electric assist bikes, which can communicate with the bike share system in real-time. This gives us information about the bike’s location and in case there is some problem, we can react quickly. Software installed in the bikes collects data for statistics about your rides, speed, distances etc.
Smart Bikes are an important part of the Smart City way of thinking. One of the most important objectives of Tartu City is to develop environmentally friendly mobility. With Bike Share, we can reduce the number of cars, encourage users to get some physical activity and maintain the “15 minutes to anywhere” phenomena in Tartu. In addition to the data-based and smartly planned bike network, using a Smart Bike is a lifestyle choice valued by citizens and visitors.
The Tartu Smart Bike Share project’s bicycles and parking areas are being financed from the urban development measure of the European Regional Development Fund and the Horizon 2020 programme for European research and innovation (support agreement no. 691883).
The bike share system consists of 750 bikes in 69 bike share stations across the city. A total of 500 bikes are electric and the remaining 250 are regular bikes.
Electric assist bikes within the bike share system are easy to use, with the electric motor starting when pedalling and the bike being free of any additional control devices. Electric assist bikes will remain in circulation until temperatures fall below freezing, and during cold periods only regular bikes will remain in circulation.
The bike share system is being supplied by the Canadian company Bewegen Technologies Inc, who won the public procurement organised last spring.
How to rent a bike?
In order to rent a bike, the user must have a valid and activated Tartu bus season ticket or they must purchase a bike share membership. You can activate your valid Tartu bus card at Tartu Information Centre by using the validator there or you can take a bus and get your valid bus card activated by having a bus ride.
The user must create a bike share account, either on-line (ratas.tartu.ee) or via the mobile app (Tartu Smart Bike), and connect it to a credit card.
You can use a bus card or mobile app to unlock the bicycle.
When returning the bike, the bike should be left in any bike share station. Dock the bike and wait for the notification and beep. If there are no available spaces in the station, the bike can be secured with an additional lock.
When locking the bike with an additional lock, the cable of the lock must be inserted from the left through the front wheel or around the fastening connected to a sufficiently strong ground and the front wheel must be locked from the right in the locking position marked with the sticker. Watch the video about how to lock the bike correctly here.
If the user has the right to ride for free on the urban lines in Tartu, or if they have a 10, 30 or 90 day ticket, then there is no need to buy a separate bike share season ticket, although a personalised bus card must be connected to the bike share system, so that it would be possible to check the existence of a ticket.
If the user has a season ticket, then each use of the bicycle for a period of 60 minutes is free, and each subsequent started hour is EUR 1.
If one does not have a valid season ticket for the urban lines, then they must acquire a one-hour ticket, a one day ticket, one week ticket or annual ticket for the bicycle sharing system, with current plans calling for the cost to be EUR 2, 5, 10 and 30, respectively. Here, too, the principle holds: each use of the bike for a period of 60 minutes is free, and each subsequent started hour is EUR 1.
The maximum period of use for a bike is 5 hours, after which a late fee of EUR 80 will apply.
Information boards will be installed at all bike share stations, containing precise instructions on how to use a bicycle and how much the ride costs.
If you should have any questions about using bikes, then please call the information telephone and ask for assistance: +372 1789 (Mon–Fri 7–20; Sat–Sun 11–19). E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The bike share system service is being organised by Tartu Linnatransport, a division of the city, which began operating on 1 April, where technicians have also been hired, who deal with the transportation of bikes between the various bike share stations as well as the repairing of bikes.