Tallinn City Council has announced its intentions to introduce new and more specific bicycle rickshaw regulations, likely to bring them more in line with those already required by car taxis operating in the city.
The bicycle rickshaws, which can carry at least two paying passengers under an enclosed canopy and are part-motorised, are a familiar sight in and around Tallinn's Old Town during the summer months, catering largely to the tourist market.
Currently however there is apparently no appointed individual on the city council who oversees the operation of the bike taxis nor their pricing levels.
From July this year, bicycle rickshaw operators who wish to remain in business will be issued service provider cards by the Tallinn Transport Authority, which should help to solve all problems and issues, it is reported.
Speaking in an interview with ERR Radio News, Tallinn city elder Vladimir Svet said that the bicycle rickshaws are currently unregulated and it is unknown exactly how many of them are working within the city limits, something which the issuing of the new card should shed some light on.
''We'll be able to see in future that if there are, for instance, 1,000 bicycle rickshaws registered, then we can consider whether 1,000 is the ideal number or if the number should be culled,'' Mr. Svet explained.
''It's necessary first to estimate the size and scope of this area of business,'' Mr. Svet went on.
Bicycle rickshaw 'drivers' are currently being recruited online by a company called Greengears, it is reported.
Mr. Svet added that from the beginning of July the bicycle rickshaws will be regulated in the same way as regular car taxis, in other words with a driver's licence, and requiring adequate lights and safety belts.
The new regulations also are to contain a provision forbidding the use of home-made bicycle rickshaws and should add clarity to pricing levels too, he stated.
''I think that the biggest change to come from 1 July is that at least a proportion of those bicycle rickshaws on the roads will start to disappear, because of these rigorous new regulations,'' said Mr. Svet.
Editor: Andrew Whyte
Source: ERR Uudised