For a few days this summer, the Romanian city of Cluj-Napoca offered free travel on public transport for passengers reading a book.
In most cities around the world, commuters are faced with the familiar sight of their fellow passengers absorbed in their smartphones. The once popular habit of the losing oneself in a book on the way to and from work has been relegated by easy access to Instagram, Buzzfeed and Angry Birds. Hoping to combat this, the Romanian city of Cluj-Napoca launched an initiative this summer called Travel By Book, which enabled any passenger reading a book onboard one of the city’s trams, trolleys or busses travel for free.
The scheme was launched by literacy advocate Victor Miron, in collaboration with the city’s mayor, and ran for four days in June, promoting literacy and eco-friendly travel simultaneously. The success of the event is likely to result in further dates — potentially in line with two upcoming local book fairs.
How else could free travel be used to encourage positive habits on public transport?