Istanbul public bikes becoming more popular
Emre Eser – ISTANBUL
Istanbul’s public bicycle scheme has fetched a total of 1,965,560 Turkish Liras (around $342,000) excluding annual subscription fees since June 2018, according to latest data, while the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality plans to double the number of bicycles and increase the number of docking stations.
In the same period, 786,224 bike rides were done in the metropolis by hiring one of the 1,500 ISBIKE bicycles.
The total number of ISBIKE subscribers reached 169,348 as of Dec. 1.
Premium annual subscription, which provides free journey of 30 minutes every time, costs 59 liras ($10.2), whereas the price of standard annual subscription is 20 liras ($3.5).
Subscribers pay 2.5 liras ($0.4) for hiring a bicycle for one hour, 4 liras ($0.7) for two hours and 6 liras ($1.04) for three hours.
If you wish to hire a bike using your credit card without subscription, you must pay 3 liras ($0.5) for one hour, 5 liras ($0.8) for two hours and 7 liras ($1.2) for three hours.
Journeys longer than three hours cost additional 4 liras ($0.7) for every hour.
The municipality of Istanbul plans to increase the number of public bicycles from 1,500 to 3,000 until the end of 2020. In the same time period, the number of docking stations will rise from 144 to 300, according to the plan.
On the European side of the metropolis, 1,120 bicycles are available in 102 docking stations. There are 380 bicycles in 38 stations on the Anatolian side.
The most popular biking route is the seashore between the Yenikapı fast ferry docking station in the old city of Istanbul and Florya marina in the west side of the metropolis, according to ISBIKE statistics. Karaköy docking station in Beyoğlu district and the seashore bicycle route along the Bosphorus to the north allow bike riders to enjoy a picturesque scene.
On the Anatolian side, the docking station in the Moda neighborhood, one of the most affluent parts of Istanbul, is very popular. It is not far away from the starting point of a 27-kilometer bicycle route reaching Pendik district.
The municipality’s project announced in 2012 aims to increase the total bike lane length to 1,004 kilometers by 2023.
Turkey, with cycle lanes of 1,048 kilometers in length across 17 cities, has undertaken a promotional campaign called “Get Turkey Cycling!” with a European Union fund that aims to encourage bicycle usage in urban areas.
The non-profit and independent NGO affiliated to the Washington D.C.-based World Resources Institute (WRI), the WRI Turkey Sustainable Cities (WRITRSC) – which is legally registered as “Sustainable Transport and Cities Association” in Turkey - applied to obtain EU funding for the campaign.
In the “Get Turkey Cycling!” campaign, which started on April 1, 2019 and will run until June 30, 2020, WRITRSC will collaborate with the municipalities of İzmir, Eskişehir and Lüleburgaz to establish an urban cycling communication campaign.
“Bicycle roads contribute to both decreasing the intensity of traffic and air pollution as well as the fight against climate change. Thus, bicycle roads are indeed irreplaceable in urban areas,” Güneş Cansız, director of WRITRSC, said on May 17.