VILNIUS - Vilnius is the first city in Europe to introduce a public electric bike “Rent and Share” system, the Vilnius Tourist Information Center claims, reports news agency LETA. Electric bicycles have been offered for rent and share to residents or visitors of Vilnius.
The bikes, one of a series of initiatives by Vilnius Mayor Arturas Zuokas, reinforces Vilnius’ goal of becoming a world leader in making the latest environmental friendly transportation technologies widely available.
“It’s good for the people of Vilnius; it’s good for our visitors and it’s good for the city. I’m pleased that Vilnius has taken the lead in providing a new mode of quality public transportation which addresses urban congestion issues that all cities face. I hope that other cities will follow our lead,” stated Mayor Zuokas, who recently achieved world-wide Internet fame stunt by driving over an illegally parked car with a tank.
The new ‘Rent and Share’ pilot program has been launched as a joint effort between the City of Vilnius and German and Lithuanian bicycle firms. Bikes will be available during the Eurobasket 2011 games which will take place in Lithuania in September. Similar electric bike rental systems are under consideration in Spain, Italy and Great Britain.
The bikes are called ‘e-orange’ and are detailed with bright orange stripes. They will be available for rental at four Tourism Information Centers located in the downtown and Old Town areas of Vilnius. They will cost from three euros for the first hour of rental, with increasing hourly costs, e.g. a four hour ride will cost 26 euros.
A 145 euro deposit is required by credit card at the time of rental and is refunded to the renter immediately upon return of the bike to the original rental point. A built-in GPS system monitors the whereabouts of the bicycles at any given time.