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New pedal powered taxis now working

Date Posted: 2004-05-06

The new Naha taxi service unofficially made its debut Easter Sunday, testing its new routes and offering trial rides to potential customers. Today, it is in business.

What makes it different from other taxi services? The Berotaxi has only three wheels, and no engine, and is expected to make a difference in reducing downtown Naha pollution.

The Berotaxi developed by a German company is a tricycle taxi with a seat for two passengers situated behind the driver, who peddles the environmentally correct vehicle.

The route takes the five taxies from Palette Kumoji on Kokusai Street, over to Highway 58, and north to the Tomarin Hotel.

Opening ceremonies took place at Pallette Kumoji, and then customers jumped into the taxis and began the ride up Kokusaidori. Takashi Onaga, Naha City Mayor, spoke at the festivities, telling guests “I would expect everyone to use this taxi. It’s really a kind taxi for the environment.”

Ecomo.i President Etsuko Takaesu says Okinawa’s 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.

Etsuko Takaesu, one of the first customers to board, said “I hope many people use this taxi. Feel the wind and find new stuff in Naha.”

The taxi service will cost Y250 per person for the first half-kilometer, and an additional Y250 each additional 500 meters. It will operate during daylight hours from 10am ~ 5pm.

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