03 giugno 2012

Ecovolis ne Universitetin Kristal....2012

The system is based on 6 bike stations, respectively staffed by two employees in two shifts. Ecovolis program has proven successful in dramatically increasing bicycle use in Tirana, which, formerly, was a city without a developed bicycle culture. Ecovolis program is the first project in Albania that provides low-income adults with commuter bicycles as well as a donating program for children bicycles. The program recently completed two major steps, opening new bike stations in the city of Durrës and integrating Tourist Information Point Service to the bicycles stations' structure.
The Tirana Community Bicycle Albania project won financial support from the George Soros Open Society Foundation Albania (OSFA). An even larger contribution came from the US-based Pedal for Progress organization, which donated 450 bicycles. Sixty of these were used road bikes, which were modified and painted by local technicians to serve as public bikes in the Ecovolis scheme. Another portion was set aside to donate to children and to activists and volunteers at PASS. Still another portion were diverted to the project's Eco Bicycle Shop, a social enterprise which sells bikes for USD 50-150 and reinvests profits for the service and maintenance of Ecovolis bicycles. The main objective of the program was to introduce the community to an inexpensive, environmental friendly form of transport -- the bicycle; to sell used bikes at low prices; to donate bikes to the children of needy families and to PASS volunteers; to establish a bike sharing-scheme in the city (Ecovolis); and to employ financially disadvantaged people and young students to operate the bike-sharing scheme.
Each Ecovolis station is staffed by two employees in two shifts and contains 30 -- 60 bicycles. In order to use the bicycles it is required to provide a personal identification document (such as passport or ID card) or by subscribing to the Ecovolis membership Card.
The first black and red bicycles, (also the colors of the Albanian flag) were donated from US-organization Pedal for Progress, (which collect and donate used bicycles). As these bicycles were of different types, converting them for safe and comfortable public use took months of work. The price per bicycle varies from 60 US$ to 90 US$ each. The bicycle is equipped with a front bicycle basket, a behind carrier, a comfortable saddle and a public fender with the Ecovolis sign.
The bicycle stations also provide touristic information to the visitors and a list of the city attractions. Moreover, being a non-profit social enterprise, during particular days the program offers free bicycle service, cycling courses, donations of bicycles and helmets for children in need, bike tours and a bicycle recycle program.

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