IEU bicycles: A service not known by many

As more prefer riding bikes worldwide and in most of the cities in Turkey, Izmir University of Economics (IUE) offers a new bicycle service for students, academics and administrative personnel. Yet not many among IUE community know about the bikes that they can enjoy for free.

Nowadays, traffic is the major concerns in many countries and Turkey is not an exception. This problem is not of a specific nature to a part of our society, but they affect the entire society with its individuals and institutions. So, there is a worldwide mobilization system “Smart Bike Rental System” which aims to encourage people to use a bike as an alternative transportation vehicle instead of motor vehicles and İzmir is one of the cities implementing this system.

There are also twenty five bikes available for all of the stuff and students at İzmir University of Economics. I talked to people from the IUE about bicycles at University and the mentioned concern.

The manager of the Izmir University of Economics dormitory in Balçova Campus Emel Hocaoğlu said that, “these bicycles were donated by the Ministry of Health and everyone can use it. To take the bikes you must go to the IEU dormitory reception and give your ID then get your bike until 22:00 PM”.

Izmir University of Economics bicycles park

In addition, I talked to 20 people within IUE. Where I asked them if they know about a new bicycles at University? What they think about this idea?

More than half of them, who are not resident of the dorm doesn’t know about the new bicycles and only the other half of them who are residing in dorm know about the them.

Some students who are residing in IUE dormitory like Jean Francois, James Oliphant and Gökmen, they tried those bicycles. They are happy to find out that they can stroll around Balçova with IEU bikes.

According to Jean Francois, “the idea the have these bicycles at University is good, because when you want to relax, you can take a bicycle and then moves around the school and the last time when I took it , I went to the Kipa, but I went to through houses, I was a bit afraid to passed through the cars on the street, because You never know and accident can happen”

Jean Francois IEU’s student from Ruanda.

What is Bisim?

Bisim is a Sustainable Smart Bike Sharing System available almost all around the world, in which people can share bicycles for cheap price and in İzmir, it has 500 bicycles available to rent in different points of the city such as in Göztepe, Konak, Alsancak, Karşıyaka and etc. It is controled by the İzmir Metropolitan Municipality.

BISIM Station in İnciraltı

How the Bisim work in İzmir:

To rent a bike you need to be a Bisim’s member, the price per hour is 2.60 TL, but to be a member of Bisim you must get a membership card. How to get a membership card? In order to apply, you need to be above 18, ID is required and the membership card is 5TL.

There are places where you can apply for your membership card and you can also download the app and upload online and pay it with your credit card. After 2–4 days, your card will be sent to your address. Moreover, as a Smart Bike Rental member, the bank will block in your credit card 25TL as provision insurance to the bicycle in twenty four hours. The service closed from 23:00 to 06:00.

Why do people prefer car rather than bikes in İzmir?

In İzmir, as we can clearly notice, the use of bicycles is quite low, because cycling is not a preferred sport or transport vehicle for the Turkish people, they prefer car over bicycles.

One of the reasons for this preference is because the city is designed and built in a way which demands the use of motor vehicles. For instance, there is no specific road for cyclists; there are a few parking area for the bicycles on the street such as in Üçükuler . People don’t have a habit to use bicycles so that’s why it cannot be seen as a public transportation vehicle.

I also spoke to Assoc. Prof. Dr. Lyndon Way Prof. at İzmir University of Economics about new bicycles at the University and also about the traffic issue in Izmir.

Assoc Prof. Dr. Lyndon Way

According to Way, assocaite professor at IUE’s Faculty of Communication, who is bicycle enthusiast, “I had heard about bikes at our University, but I haven’t see them and there is no information at school about where they are and how to get it. There should be more information about the bicycles so that people can use it more”.

He said that too, he likes using bicycle, although there is advantage and disadvantage of using a bicycle. “Normally he uses bikes two or three times a week to come to work, because of health and for having fun, but he has to bring another clothes and take a shower here at school before the classes however, everyone should have this kind of attitude so there will be less traffic and air pollution. He states that “Sometime I use my motorbikes or my wife’s car instead of my bicycle to do other things such as when I am going to drink with friends at Alsancak I never use bicycle, I use bus or dolmuş to get there.”

He also advises people that, by using bike as an alternative transportation system in a city like İzmir, it can provide a solution to traffic and pollution problems experienced in here, but they should also be very careful while they are riding bicycles in Turkey, because there is no appropriate road for bikes and the drivers here are also driving fast.