World’s First Sledge Sharing Service Launched in Vilnius
The full-on Lithuanian winter has generated an increasing popularity of outdoor activities this year. However, to make sledding safe during the pandemic and avoid mass gatherings, over 100 cars with sledges in trunks have been made available in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, as a sharing service initiated by CityBee, the local car-sharing app.
The cars containing sledges in the trunk together with disinfection means—to clean the sledges before and after the use—are available for pick up through the CityBee app. All of the cars are marked in the app making it easy for the users to locate the nearest one. Moreover, for safety reasons, the service helps to ensure that the amounts of sledders are distributed over several sledding areas in the city. Since Vilnius is rich in green areas, the new car and sledge service endorses exploring even more isolated sledding areas.
As the first car-sharing platform to ever launch a project like this, CityBee also intends for the sledge sharing service to reiterate the benefits of sharing instead of owning. As sledge is something that is used for a couple of weeks every year and is then forgotten until the next winter, the company—and the city—see the new sharing service as a continuation of the Lithuanian capital’s vision of staying an advocate of sharing economy and mobility.
According to the sharing service operator, one shared car in Vilnius can replace 12 personal ones, dramatically lessening the strain on the city in terms of traffic and parking. The new service, though symbolic, is a continuation of the city’s vision of introducing the simplicity and benefits of the sharing economy, and setting an example in terms of mobility and sustainable traffic.
“This vision of sustainability is well underway as several transport-oriented initiatives have been implemented in Vilnius in recent years. The capital is always open to involving the community into new and adventurous projects so the sledge sharing system is definitely going to fit in with the Vilnius model,” said Remigijus Šimašius, Mayor of Vilnius.
Services like CityBee car sharing, Spark electric vehicle sharing, and Bolt scooter sharing have made Vilnius residents and visitors appreciate the transportation sharing services, while the local app Trafi has simplified the way to get around the city using various means of transport by using the open traffic data provided by the municipality.
When it comes to car-sharing, 70% of Vilnius locals can find a shared car or park it less than 2 minutes away from their home. More than 60 000 journeys are made monthly by using shared cars—a substantial number for a city with 600 000 residents. The data suggests that by using this amount of shared vehicles, the city is cutting its annual CO2 emissions by 35 000 to 40 000 tons.