Latvia’s Bike Taxis

A Baltic taxi with a bike rack

A Baltic taxi cab with bike racks on the roof. Riga, Latvia.

Ok, this is seriously awesome. In Latvia, taxis are installing bike racks to their roofs that cyclists can use free of charge. Latvians can now hop on their bikes and cruise around without worrying about flat tires, rain, or getting to tired or tipsy to ride home. I don’t know about you but I am about ready to pack up my stuff and move to Riga.

Bike Taxis in Jacksonville?

How long will it take to get bike taxis to come to Jacksonville? Probably a good long time, I’m afraid. Like I mentioned in my last post, we have a long way to go to improve bike friendliness around here. And I think bike friendliness will come before bike taxis — taxi companies will need to see a market for it before they implement this type of service, and there won’t be a viable market until we make Jacksonville a more appealing place for biking.

Life in Latvia

I’ve never been to Latvia. I remember reading about it in an AFS Exchange Program brochure once, and it made me want to go there. Some girl wrote about falling asleep to the sounds of trolleys clattering over cobblestones, and it sounded very romantic, Old-World style. The cobblestone streets might not be particularly easy on bicycle tires, but if you have a blowout, you can take a taxi! Win-win-win!

If You Go

Take a bike taxi and take pictures of the bike taxi. First hand experience and evidence thereof is one way to convince taxi drivers here in the United States to follow the Latvians’ example. (Brainstorm! Maybe Uber can launch a bike-version of its ride-sharing app? Note to self…)

Photo credit: Ģirts Raģelis / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

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