|GP: Tirana implemented Ecovolis, a small-scale, low-tech public bicycle system -Albania|
Tirana, Albania, implemented Ecovolis, a small-scale, low-tech public bicycle system, which could serve as a model for other cities where transport cycling is a new concept and where funding is limited
Background & Objectives
Albania's capital city Tirana does not have much of a utility cycling culture. However, City Hall has made efforts to accommodate cyclists on urban streets. Some of Tirana’s priority bus lanes have been designated as shared bus/bike lanes, and the city has ambitious plans to develop cycling as a serious mode of urban transport.
The Tirana Community Bicycle Albania project won the backing of Tirana City Hall and garnered financial support of 24,000 USD from the George Soros-funded Open Society Foundation Albania (OSFA). The US-based Pedal for Progress organization donated 450 bicycles.
The initial public response has been very positive and has also stirred interest among corporate sponsors who had earlier been skeptical. “Before starting the project, it was very difficult for us to persuade companies to sponsor the project,” said Ecovolis communications manager Jola Foto. “Now the companies are interested and trying to negotiate with us to sponsor the project.”