Due to the fuel price hikes, citizens of Izmir preferred bicycles instead of motor vehicles. With the application of 5 cents for bicycle passengers on the ferries launched in Izmir for the first time in Turkey, a record was broken in March compared to March of the previous year. While the number of İzmir residents benefiting from the application increased one hundred percent, the number of İzmir residents who rented bicycles from BİSİM stations approached 1 million in the last three years.
The efforts of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, which strengthened the bicycle network in the city in line with the target of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Tunç Soyer to use the bicycle as a means of transportation, bore fruit. The use of the bicycle, which is an environmentally friendly, economical, healthy and sustainable means of transportation, has reached its peak in İzmir. With the effect of fuel price hikes, thousands of citizens preferred to use bicycles. The number of members using BISIM stations of the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality has exceeded 422 thousand. In the last three years, approximately 1 million people have rented bicycles from BISIM stations. In the months of January, February and March, which passed with price hikes in 2022, 7 thousand 900 people gained new membership through BISIM Mobile.
Record number of people who prefer the ferry with their bikes
The decision for cyclists to benefit from ferry services within the gulf for 2020 cents as of September 5 set an example for Turkey. With the application, the number of citizens who prefer the environmentally friendly means of transportation, the bicycle and the ferry, has gradually increased. In March, a record number was reached. While the number of citizens who preferred the ferry with their bicycles was 2021 thousand 7 in March of 14, this rate increased one hundred percent in March 2022 and reached 14 thousand 456. In the first three months of 2021, the number of boarding passes, which was 3 thousand 19, increased by 469 percent in the first three months of 2022 to 82 thousand 35.
“The use of bicycles has increased by 30 percent”
Giving information about the increase in bicycle infrastructure, İzmir Metropolitan Municipality Transportation Department Head Sibel Özgür said, “Bicycle use has played an important role in this period, as the reduction of environmental problems, minimizing the carbon footprint, and the transition from public transportation to private vehicle use during the pandemic process has become more widespread. With the strengthening of the bicycle infrastructure, the integration of bicycle transportation into public transportation has also been strengthened. We have observed that the number of cyclists has increased by more than 5 percent in total, especially with the effect of the 30 cents application on the ferries.
60 stations, 890 bikes, 89 kilometers of bike paths
Stating that İzmir's investments in bicycles are increasing gradually, Özgür said, “One of the main goals of our President is to popularize bicycle transportation. With the appointment of our President Tunç Soyer, we increased the number of BISIM stations from 35 to 60 and from 400 to 890. In addition, we started to serve with 120 tandem and 120 children's bicycles. During the pandemic process, we produced a 25-kilometer bicycle path. However, we reached a total of 89 kilometers of bicycle path. We continue to work on infrastructure in many of our districts. In the short term, we want to increase our bike path to 107 kilometers,” he said.
“Both economical and practical”
Citizens who prefer to use bicycles in their daily lives expressed their satisfaction with the efforts to improve İzmir's bicycle network. Merve Bozkurt, who prefers to pedal instead of motor vehicles, said, “It is an advantage for us that the bicycle stops are located at very frequent points. We can go wherever we want by bicycle and drop off at the points there immediately. The increase in fuel prices also has a significant effect. Cycling can be both economical and practical for me. We use it a lot, especially when we go out with friends on the weekends. It is very advantageous for me on flat and non-sloping places when commuting to work. It is more difficult to wait for public transport," he said.
“It was my dream to ride a bike in Izmir”
Dilek Tosun said, “I use the bike to go to work. Now I got off the sea bus and rented the bike. I am using a bicycle on the route I will go. I find it more environmentally friendly to travel by bike. I was using the bicycle in public transportation before and after the coronavirus. There is a traffic jam right now. It causes us to prefer it more because of the public transportation fees and the increase in fuel prices.”
Ayşe Yaren Kaplanoğlu, who came to İzmir for the first time, said, “It was my dream to ride a bicycle in İzmir. I am coming to İzmir for the first time. It's my first time riding a bike here. I'm pretty happy. The fact that the roads are on the beach has been a great advantage, and it is very nice," he said.
Bicycle paths are getting longer with the surrounding districts
By turning the pandemic process into an opportunity by the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Department of Transportation, Martyr Nevres, Vasıf Çınar, on the 2nd Kordon and Pleven Boulevard, in Narlıdere, between Narlıdere Center and Sahilevleri bicycle path, Yeşildere Street side road, between Şirinyer and Basmane, On Sevgi Yolu and Uğur Mumcu Street in Dikili, on Rıza Erten Street in Çeşme, KarşıyakaIt opened a 1671-kilometer bicycle path on Bostanlı creek side, Cheesecioğlu creek side, Halkpark and 25 Street in Istanbul, Talatpaşa Boulevard and Cumhuriyet Boulevard in Konak. Significant progress has been made in planning and project design for the bicycle path in Gaziemir, Buca, Çeşme, Menderes, Bayındır, Tire, Bergama and Selçuk districts.
It's easy to be a BISIM driver
General Directorate of İZULAŞ A.Ş started QR code integration processes at BISIM stations in İzmir for the first time in Turkey. With the application supported by the mobile application, citizens were enabled to benefit from the rental service more easily. 5 TURKISH LIRAS. BISIM card fee has been removed. The “BISIM Mobile” application, which enables all membership transactions from a single point quickly and easily, was launched. Thus, thanks to the mobile application, it is now possible to easily rent from all stations with a QR code and a single password without the need for a card.
Bicycle city Izmir
35 free repair stations and 50 bicycle pumps were placed on the bike paths. In the last year, 104 bicycle parking lots were put into service at 47 points. In 2022, 20 more repair stations and 1000 bicycle parking spaces are planned to be made available to citizens. In order to ensure the safety of cyclists when they park their bicycles, 5 electronic bicycle cabins were built at 10 points throughout the city.