A group of word lovers is working together with taxi drivers to bring the art of reading back to the people of Tunisia. In an effort to leverage the long commute times, taxi drivers have embraced the idea of providing a mobile library to their patrons. E-Taxi is a application that was launched in 2013. The goal is to “revolutionize and facilitate access to the most common means of transport in Tunis, the Taxi.” Combined with their convenient ability to hail a taxi, provide estimated ride times, and fare prices, E-Taxi has now added another feature to their services: reading.
Teaming up with YallaRead, which offers a way for users to exchange free digital books, the team hopes to enrich the taxi experience while encouraging the art of reading. Tarak Hentati, the lead communications partner, states, “People generally get bored in taxis because they have nothing to do…So it’s easy, the book is already there in front of them! It’s just a bonus.”
The program is taking off with flying colors, and individuals themselves are contacting the companies directly offering their own books. Hentati confirms the gesture. “People liked the idea,” said Hentati. “Someone even called us and offered to put their own books in taxis.” The team hopes to provide a plethora of books on various topics for customers to enjoy during their ride, and also make it quite easy to remember where you left off during your commute. The app allows one to track their book and progress based on the QR code. This allows the rider to pick right back up where they left off on their next commute, encouraging a long term commitment while still offering a way to enjoy a session of reading, no matter how long the drive.