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Pollution-free taxi now Curising Naha city streets

Date Posted: 2004-04-15

It only has three wheels, and no engine, but itís a new taxi rolling through downtown Naha.

The Berotaxi developed by a German company made itís debut Easter Sunday, beginning test rides. The tricycle taxi has a seat for two passengers situated behind the driver, who peddles the environmentally correct vehicle.

Service begins May 1st, but route testing is now in progress. Test rides will be offered later this month along the route from Palette Kumoji on Kokusai Street, over to Highway 58, and north to the Tomarin Hotel. The test base is near the Miebashi monorail station.

Ecomo.i President Etsuko Takaesu says Okinawaís the sixth location for the Berotaxi. Bero is Latin for bicycle. Others already in service are in Hokkaido, Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo.

The Berotaxi is operating in 22 European countries, and is largely popular in Germany.

Naha resident Hiroshi Takara, 49, is driving one of the five new taxis. ďItís so wonderful. Iím looking at this town everyday, but today it looks different and the wind breathes so softly and cool. I like it.

Once in service, the taxi service will cost Y250 per person for the first half-kilometer, and an additional Y250 each additional 500 meters.

During the test stage 1~4pm April 18-25, citizens can experience the Berotaxi for Y100. Make reservations by calling 098-836-3522.

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