Interconnected Baltics: CityBee car-sharing now in Tallinn too
Residents and guests of Tallinn can now use shared-transportation provider CityBee’s cars. Expansion in Estonia, involving investments of 2 million euros, has enabled CityBee to become the first and so far only carsharing platform to operate in all three Baltic countries.
The first service of its size in Tallinn
CityBee’s carsharing service started up in the Estonian capital with the release of compact Fiat 500s into the streets of the city. For now, Tallinn will have 150 of these highly practical cars. That is not the final number, though. Still this year, CityBee intends to enlarge its Estonian fleet of vehicles with new models.
“We plan to introduce other classes of CityBee cars in Tallinn already before the New Year. They’ll be just like those our customers in Lithuania and Latvia are happily using,” said Lukas Yla, CityBee’s CEO.
The CityBee cars that have turned up in Estonia enable travel not just within the city or inside the country. They can also be used without constraint for one-way trips to any other Baltic country, departing from Tallinn and leaving the car in Vilnius or Riga.
A niche in the urban transport ecosystem
Before CityBee began expanding in Estonia, it carefully analyzed the country’s urban mobility ecosystem, according to Mr. Yla. In consequence, the goal was set to effectively augment the local mobility services scene by offering more alternatives to a car of one’s own and creating conditions for the use of public transportation.
“It’s been calculated that a single vehicle in a carsharing system can replace as many as 12 personal cars, and studies in German cities have shown that users of carsharing services are 30 percent more likely to use public transportation than people who drive their cars,” the head of CityBee said regarding the benefits of carsharing.
He said it is precisely for the opportunities to reduce pollution and increase the efficiency of transportation services that the European Union supports the carsharing concept. Because of that, and because consumers are well-disposed, carsharing services are increasingly thriving in the old continent’s capitals and smaller cities. According to a study by Deloitte, Europe represents roughly a full half of the global carsharing market.
People in Tallinn are remarkably active
CityBee has been operating in the Estonian capital for some time. The company initially entered the market with 20 cargo vehicles and later also introduced electric scooters.
A total of almost 500 CityBee electric scooters rolled the streets of Tallinn this year. According to Lukas Yla, of all the Baltic cities, it was in Tallinn that people essentially proved to be most enthusiastic and active.
“Even though we started there last and the city’s population is the smallest among all the Baltic capitals, within a short time an impressive 35 000 users registered,” CityBee’s CEO said of the results, added that “the interest shown and the flood of messages and calls we received suggest Estonians won’t be shy about the new carsharing service either.”