miércoles, 12 de mayo de 2010

And what about Bicitaxis?

How about a form of transportation which is clean, generates little congestion, and can even be a tourist attraction? 

Sounds ideal. But Bogotá's response is: Don't allow them!

Thousands of bicitaxis, or bike taxis, operate in Bogotá, carrying people for short distances, often near Transmilenio stations. Unfortunately, they're not recognized by the vehicle code, and are therefore illegal. Still, in many neighborhoods, the police have tolerated the bicitaxis and let them work. But a new version of the Transit Code would reportedly ban the bicitaxis completely.


As it is, the bicitaxi operators, who are generally poor people and often displaced victims of Colombia's violence, often get hassled by police and sometimes their vehicles are even impounded. The bicitaxi operators have protested many times, demanding that the vehicle code be amended to recognize their vehicles, but without luck. 

Unfortunately, pedal taxi operators don't have powerful allies, while their enemies, the regular taxi drivers, do. It's long been a general suspicion that the organizations of regular taxi drivers have blocked the bicitaxis' legalization.  

Perhaps some sane politician will choose public interest over politics and take a stand for these humble, hard-working people who are providing such a good service. 


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