Istanbul, taxi for health workers

Istanbul offers free taxis to health workers

Thanks to various agreements, workers of the 30 hospitals in Istanbul will be able to travel totally free by taxi between their homes and their work.

Around 300 taxis in Istanbul registered with the Istanbul Chamber of Taxi Drivers (İETO) and another 50 belonging to the Istanbul Airport Taxi Cooperative have started to offer free transportation to health workers of city hospitals, thanks to an agreement implemented by the Istanbul Governor’s Office and the Provincial Health Directorate.

The free taxis will operate between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. for all health workers at the city’s 50 public hospitals, picking them up at their workplaces and transporting them home.

Although the measure has begun to be implemented coinciding with the 3-day curfew decreed starting this Friday, from Monday health workers will be able to continue benefiting from it thanks to another agreement reached between the BiTaksi app and Master Card Turkey, which will allow health personnel to enjoy 12,500 free trips from May 4th.

“We will continue free travel as long as possible,” say taxi drivers

“We asked the governor’s office to offer this service. Our taxi drivers are working on a voluntary basis. We will continue this free travel aid during curfews as much as possible,” said Eyüp Aksu, president of İETO.

For her part, Naz Alibaşoğlu, who works in a hospital in Istanbul, said in statements to the Turkish press that she was very happy with this measure. “It is highly considered by taxi drivers. It is very difficult for us to commute between work and home by public transport. It would be wonderful if this free service continues during (all) curfews,” said Alibaşoğlu.

In order to benefit from this free taxi service, Istanbul health workers will need to request a document from the medical chief of the hospital where they work confirming that they are in active. Taxi drivers will offer free transportation to health personnel, whatever their function is, taking them from their homes to the city’s hospitals and then back home.