Tartu Velorent pilot project , Source: Jan Henrik Pärnik/

Cargo bike pilot launched in Tartu

Cargo bike pilot launched in Tartu

The city government has set the goal of increasing the proportion of environmentally sustainable modes of travel in urban traffic

Cargo bikes are popular in many European countries, but these bulky yet convenient tricycles are somewhat of a novelty in Estonia. This may change soon, depending on the outcome of a pilot project launched by Tartu City Government to test the interest of individual citizens, entrepreneurs and potential providers in a cargo bike service.

Three different bike types

During the Tartu Velorent pilot project, which will run until the end of this summer, three different types of electric cargo bikes will be put up for rent. One of them is intended for transporting only goods, while the others are equipped with seat belts and can carry people. In all of the three types, the maximum load capacity of the box is 80 kg.

The rental of cargo bikes will be managed by Tartu Linnatransport, which has been credited with the successful organization of Tartu Smart Bike Share. For the duration of the pilot, the one-week charge for using a cargo bike will be EUR 25.

"Tartu has set the goal of increasing the proportion of environmentally sustainable modes of travel in urban traffic. One of the options is cargo bikes, with which you can bring home food stuffs from the store, take children to nursery school or arrange corporate logistics. We want to test the cargo bikes at different times of the year, which is why we are not afraid to start during a rather cold and snowy winter. Year-round cyclists are growing increasingly common in Tartu and we have no reason to talk about cycling as a seasonal means of movement," Tartu Deputy Mayor Raimond Tamm said on the occasion, quoted by the city website.

Preference for private sector providers

Tartu City Government invites individuals or entrepreneurs who are interested in getting involved in the pilot project and like to test the cargo bike feasibility in their daily activities, to write to or call 736-1266.

Feedback from cargo bike users is essential for the development of a user-friendly service. Based on user feedback, the number and selection of bicycles can be increased in the future. The City Government expects private entities to express interest in providing the service, as it does not contemplate public sector involvement.

Velorent is part of the CyclUrban+ project, supported by the European Climate Change Programme.

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