Feature: Sea Taxis Expected To Ease Traffic Jams In Turkey’s Istanbul

by Zeynep Cermen

ISTANBUL, Sept 15 (NNN-XINHUA) – Sinem Dedetas, head of Istanbul City Lines, is hopeful that the newly produced sea taxis will help ease traffic chaos in the city.

“One best way to alleviate traffic in this city is to improve the efficiency of the sea commute with convenient alternatives,” Dedetas said.

Surrounded by the Black Sea, the Marmara Sea, and the Bosphorus Strait flowing in between, Turkey’s most crowded city, Istanbul, with over 16 million people and nearly five million registered vehicles, has long been grappling with chronic traffic jams.

The problem grew even more serious last year, as people avoid commuting on public transport due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last year, Dedetas came up with the idea of producing the tiniest sea taxis possible, that can access any small inlets or piers of Istanbul’s seas. The boats were designed to be 11.95 metres in length and 4.4 metres wide.

Dedetas and her teams aimed to keep the fares low, to encourage a large part of the population, including students, to use it. Therefore, they haven’t used any intermediary institution and produced the entire pieces domestically in Halic Shipyard, founded in 1455 on the shores of the Golden Horn, during the Ottoman era.

Within a short period of time since Jan, the teams produced 45 sea taxis, each able to carry ten people at a time.

Commuters will be able to access the taxis individually via an app. After six months, the city lines will evolve the practice into a sharing system.

Dedetas noted that, more sea taxis can be produced to be used as new school buses for university students, in the upcoming period, and the two universities have already sent their orders to the city lines.

“But since the boats are newly designed, we have to observe their performances in the water for a while. We may need to make some improvements before proceeding with the requests of the universities,” she remarked.

Su Meric, an 18-year-old student of the Kadir Has University, on the shores of the Golden Horn, lives in the Maltepe district, along the Marmara Sea on the Asian side.

“Imagine the school bus is a sea taxi. I can go to school in a short time, while inhaling the fresh sea air without being stuck in traffic jams,” Meric told Xinhua with great enthusiasm.– NNN-XINHUA


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