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On Hasakah’s empty streets, revamped motorcycles replace taxis

Enterprising residents of Al-Hasakah city have begun re-fitting motorcycles to […]

1 October 2015

Enterprising residents of Al-Hasakah city have begun re-fitting motorcycles to operate as taxis since the high price of fuel and a string of Islamic State car bomb attacks have left the city streets practically empty of cars.

A photo of one such taxi motorcycle, with a makeshift third tire and an attached wooden sign reading “For Hire,” was uploaded to the to the Facebook page of the grassroots Hasakah Youth Union on Wednesday.

“Taxi service in the city has stopped since the last wave of explosions in the city about 25 days ago,” Abu Jad al-Hasakawi, a member of the Youth Union, told Syria Direct on Thursday.

The regime’s ban on vehicles entering the city center “has caused many people to turn to the motorcycle taxis as a way to make a living,” said al-Hasakawi, referring to a security measure implemented two weeks ago.

The rising cost of fuel also means that fewer cars are on the road. The price of petrol in Al-Hasskah currently ranges between $0.60–$2.00 per liter, depending on whether the source is local or from the regime. Those prices make it prohibitively expensive to use cars already inside the city.

The unconventional taxis, made by welding a third tire for balance onto the frame of the motorcycle, save people from having to bring groceries from the markets to their homes with a push-cart, the activist explained.

“Necessity is the mother of invention, and the Syrian people have proven that they are able to overcome the ever-developing difficulties of everyday life and come up with alternatives to get by.”

– Photo courtesy of Al-Hasakah Youth Union

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