State to buy all civil servants a bicycle

01.04.2011, 10:33

The Estonian government has announced that it will spend about 15.7 million euros that it is receiving from US company General Electric for emission credits on buying bicycles to all civil servants in Estonia, writes Postimees.

Since the public sector employs about 35,000 people, it means that one bicycle would cost about 450 euros.

Estonian finance minister Jürgen Ligi says that replacing official cars with bicycles will help the public sector to save millions of euros every year and will improve public health.

“Of course, some cars will remain for longer travel between Tallinn and Tartu, for instance,” said Ligi.

Ligi added that the bicycle deal was actually his idea. “Last April when air travel in Europe had come to a standstill because of volcanic ash I was driving back to Estonia by car, saw hundreds of people on bicycles and understood how alienated politicians were from real life.”

Mart Laar, chairman of IRL, took credit for pushing through a plan to buy also some Segways.