The project called “We are struggling against climate change with our bicycles” by the municipality in Lüleburgaz district of Kırklareli attracted so much interest that the number of bicycle taxis was increased from three to five. Two thousand people got on these bicycles in two months.
Residents of the district of Kırklareli Lüleburgaz experiencing the excitement of achieving a first in Turkey. In the district, three electric bicycle taxis first came into service. Then this number increased to five.
We listened to the electric bicycle project from the Municipality's Plan Project Manager Seden Özen Ergin: Lüleburgaz Municipality chooses a theme every year. The theme of 2017 was cycling. In this context, many activities and projects were produced. One of them was the electric bicycle taxi project. We applied for a project fund announced by the European Union and the Ministry of Environment. Name of the project is “We fight against climate change with our bikes”. At the end of 2016, the project was approved and in September 2017, we launched the project.
The application covers eight months. Within the framework of this application, all citizens, primarily elderly, disabled, pregnant and citizens with children, use bicycle taxis free of charge.
The elderly abstained, then they loved it
Saying that their goal is to reduce carbon emissions against climate change, to organize such activities to raise awareness in this framework, Ergin summarizes the citizens' response as follows: We received very positive responses. First of all, we thought that taxi and minibus drivers would not like this application. But they were also very supportive. Elderly, sick, disabled and pregnant children who have difficulty coming out of their homes and going to a doctor reach us by phone. So they can easily use the bicycle taxi. They're our priority. Of course, every citizen can take a bicycle taxi. Even tourists are visiting our district with these taxis.
We offer the ones who call and says “I’m bored staying at home” a tour
A new and unusual means of transportation. Has anyone acted prejudiced in the adoption? Ergin's answer to the question was as follows: Our old citizens were somewhat abstained before. These taxis are tricycle and do not have gates. This caused them to be biased. They wanted to examine it first for safety. But the experimenters were very pleased. Especially in the summer months, our elderly people prefer it because it is an airy vehicle. In this way, those who have difficulty in walking are both toured and aired. We call our citizens who are bored at home and want to go for a bike ride. We offer the ones who call and says “I’m bored staying at home” a tour.
The number of the taxis increased to five
When the bicycle taxi was popular, the municipality decided to continue piloting. According to the information provided by Ergin, the project is expected to benefit 6 thousand people in eight months and reached more than 2 thousand people at the end of two months. The municipality purchased two more vehicles in order to provide more services to the district with a population of 130 thousand. The number of electric bikes increased to five.
Cycling lessons are also available
Ergin says: Since we started a collective bicycle campaign in the entire district, we have been giving cycling lessons to everybody from 7 to 70, every Saturday. People who have never been on a bicycle before in their lives are introduced to cycling through this training. They also use it as a means of transportation. Lüleburgaz district of Kırklareli, which makes a huge gain both in the struggle against climate change and in the struggle for healthy living, is proud of being an example to other municipalities.
Bicycle taxi examples around the world
Bicycle taxis serve in many countries in the world. In India's chaotic traffic, rickshaws, three-wheeled passenger carts, are highly preferred. Pulled rickshaws, bicycle rickshaws or motorized rickshaws attract people's attention. Tuk-tuks, which look like rickshaws, is one of Thailand's traditional means of transportation.
In New York and San Diego, the United States, you can often find pedicabs that students ride to earn money. Three-wheeled taxis, a traditional vehicle, are widely used in the Philippines.
China has been using three-wheeled taxis since the 1950s. In Mexico, electric bike taxis are called “bixitaxi”. There are four companies providing bicycle taxi services in Paris, the capital of France. Bicycle taxis in Barcelona are mostly used by tourists. In Vietnam, the passenger sits on the front seat of the bicycle.