Guest post by Daniel Böhm; first published for Mobilitätsagentur Wien
Mr. Talas is Vienna’s first caretaker on a cargobike. We meet him early on the 12th floor of a community building in the 9th district of Vienna. Mr. Talas and his team are part of a pilot project of the Wiener Wohnen Haus- & Aussenbetreuung (WWHA). The goal is to ensure that the future maintenance of the Viennese community buildings is conducted as environmentally friendly as possible. In the course of the project, several alternatives to the car were tested – the most practical and fastest was the cargobike. Since then, Mr. Talas and his colleagues have been testing the cargobike in their day-to-day operations to make a decision for the expansion of environmentally friendly mobility within the company.
During a typical week, Mr. Talas visits six community buildings in the district, many of them several times a day. With the cargobike, he can ride directly into the yard of the community buildings and has his equipment always with him.
In addition to maintenance work, foliage disposal is also on the agenda today – the tall trees in the courtyard disperse their leaves in grand style. Mr. Talas does not need a resting-place to clear the foliage. This is because the cargobike is perfect for such activities. Thanks to the electric assist, he can load it with several bags at the same time and thus saves tedious dragging.
Sabatka also has a small surprise. Soon a new cargobike will be available for testing. This time a bigger one, with the cargo at the back. “Jö, finally a green one,” he rejoices cheerfully. “We are staying with red – this is only the figure from the brochure. Company colour remains company colour,” says Sabatka grinning.The bike should be delivered in a few weeks. Mr Talas and his colleague are still somewhat skeptical, but are already looking forward to the first test ride. “Hopefully the engine keeps it through and the loading rear works as easy as with the present one,” the two said. In the coming years, WWHA plans to continue to promote and expand environmentally friendly mobility.
We should therefore get used to the sight of a cycling house caretaker, just like Ms Meyer from the 12th floor. She does not even notice the cargobike anymore, but a little bit of foliage needs clearing …
All pictures: ©Mobilitätsagentur Wien/Daniel Böhm