A new Istanbul-based taxi service has been founded, catering to pet owners who often have trouble getting around town with their animals. Public transportation does allow for pets if they are kept in their cages but not in all cases, while intercity travel on buses can be a problematic experience and taxis often refuse requests.
Dilşat Akcan decided to establish the service after she failed to find a cab to take her sick dog to a vet in time and, sadly, lost him. Now, her pet taxi service operates across Turkey with six cars modified to carry animals in cages in the back where animals can travel alone or in the company of their owners.
“Every pet owner can book our taxis, whether simply to take them to vet or for traveling long-distance with their animals,” Akcan said.
“Traveling with pets sometimes turns out to be a challenge. For instance, taking a taxi is very difficult as drivers refuse them, claiming animals would stain their seats. You don’t have much luck with mass transit either,” she added.
The pet taxis charge customers TL 6 ($0.70) per kilometer for innercity travel, and the cages in the back can carry animals weighing up to 50 kilos (110 pounds).
“We carry all animals but we only ask our customers to be careful not to feed their pets before the trip to avoid motion sickness and (to provide) documents showing that animals have had all their vaccinations,” Akcan said.