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Challenge / Goal

Developing a bike sharing system has been one of the mobility priorities of the City of Tartu. A respective feasibility analysis was carried out in 2014 and a business model was  developed based on the findings. The analysis showed that the potential number of bike share users in Tartu could be up to 224,000 people annually. The aim of setting up a public bike sharing system is to encourage the use of bicycles and make this a considerable alternative to cars. It is expected that the bike sharing system will bring about decreased environmental problems (noise, air quality), parking issues and problems with traffic intensity. Bike sharing is considered a part of the public transport system of the City of Tartu.


As of 2021, the bike sharing system consists of 750 bikes in 69 bike docks across the city and was launched on 8 June 2019. About 2/3 are electric and the remaining are regular bikes. New bikes and bike stations are added annually and the system has already expanded to nearby municipalities as well.

In order to rent a bike, the user must have a valid Tartu bus season ticket, or they must purchase a bike sharing membership. The user must create a bike share account, either online ( or via the mobile app (Tartu Smart Bike) and connect it to a credit card. As technical support and to report any errors, an information hotline and email address have also been set up.

All in all, the bike sharing launch has been an unprecedented success and has increased the share of cyclists in Tartu.

Citizen participation

The parking locations were determined with the help of a highly successful participative planning campaign by allowing citizens to mark on a map where they would like the stations to be. User feedback is constantly taken into consideration when planning updates and changes to the system.


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Time period

Planning time: 1 to 2 years

Implementation time: 6 months to 1 year

    Main benefits

  • Promoting sustainable private transport models

  • Reducing GHG emissions

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