To Promote Reading, A City Gifts Readers with Free Public Transportation
Victor Miron's Travel By Book Initiative incentivized commuters in Cluj-Napoca to read a book to help the city's literacy levels
While every piece of information you need can be found on the Web, there’s still nothing like reading a book. In Cluj-Napoca, a city in Romania, an initiative called Travel By Book was launched to help promote and encourage public commuters to read a book while riding the bus, tram or trolley. If they do, their ride is free.
Victor Miron, the smarts behind the Travel By Book initiative, is very passionate about books.
Miron was always thinking of ways to improve literacy in his city. His advocacy led him to propose the project to the city mayor back in 2014. One year later, the project was launched from June 4 to 7.
It didn’t matter whether the person was reading a paperback, hardcover, or a fiction or non-fiction novel. All that mattered was the learning you get from reading while saving money on public transportation. Miron shared:
“In Cluj-Napoca there already was free transportation for students and [the] elderly. I just thought that readers deserve it as well because they offer a good example. I think people [get] an appetite for reading if they see other people read books.”
Nevertheless, Miron also shared that the Travel By Book initiative wasn’t his first idea. The first was putting books on buses and the other was to put signage encouraging people to read books. Moreover, Miron and his friends also came up with BookFace. The initiative encouraged Facebook users to use profile photos showing them reading a book. The incentive was getting discounts in bookstores, hair salons and even dental clinics.
With the success of the Travel By Book initiative, Miron continues to propose more dates in the coming months. He is also working on expanding the project to other Romanian cities like Chișinău, Alba lulia, Focsani and beyond the border of Moldovian.
Hopefully, with continued support, Miron’s belief will continue to live on. “I believe that it’s better to promote reading by rewarding those who read, instead of criticizing the ones who don’t,” he wrote.
Meanwhile, in Scotland, residents are lured to ride public transportation through a new entertainment offering.