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E-bicycles/E-cargo bicycle sharing system in Vidzeme (Latvia)

This pilot/study case will take place in Vidzeme (Latvia).

The pilot case:

An e-bicycle/e-cargo bicycle sharing system for tourists and locals will be tested as a pilot in one or two locations in the Vidzeme Planning Region (189,000 inhabitants, almost half of whom live in rural areas) where local companies do not provide such services.

Locations of the stations will be selected after a feasibility study. Most likely these will be towns with populations between 5,000 and 10,000 inhabitants.

It is envisioned that the pilot would consist of e-bikes, a weatherproof stand for them (or a solution to keep them indoors but available to those that want to rent them), and a bike-booking system operated either through external companies or municipalities (for example the Tourism Information Centre).

A particular emphasis will be put on user feedback.

The challenges it tackles:

Many areas in the Vidzeme Planning Region are sparsely populated. Therefore, motorised public transportation solutions are often not implementable or their schedules are not adequate for tourists (you can get one way but will have a hard time returning after visiting a tourist destination).

In addition, the road conditions, quality of infrastructure and the elevation justify the selection of battery-assisted bicycles instead of regular ones. This decision makes even more sense when the average age of tourists is considered (Vidzeme attracts a large share of elderly tourists from other EU countries) as well as the ageing local population.

E-bicycles/e-cargo solutions would also provide an alternative to the locals who are still using cars for short distance trips.

Title picture: Agnis Melderis (c.)