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Bicycles become popular among Turkey’s Kocaeli residents amid pandemic

The Kocaeli Bicycle Transportation System (KOBIS), initiated by Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality in 2014 to ease the burden on urban transportation in the northwestern province, has seen a spike in public demand during the pandemic normalization process.

Transportation Department Traffic Management Branch Manager Murat Sandalcı said that KOBIS, which started serving citizens with 18 rental stations and 136 bicycles six years ago, attracted widespread interest.

In 2020, the number of stations has reached 74 with a total of 520 bicycles.

Sandalcı stated that as of Oct. 15, the number of members using the online renting system was around 154,000, and the total usage time was about 51 million minutes.

He said that 23,651 new users joined KOBIS during the normalization process.

“Considering that universities and schools are not open, this is considered a serious increase,” he said.

Sandalcı said that each bicycle is taken in for maintenance at the KOBIS center at least once a week.

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