Boosted as “A new transport system easy on the environment as well as a moving advertising media,” vela-taxis first made their appearance in the German capital of Berlin in 1997. They were seen not only as a simple means of transport, but also as a solution to various issues, including environmental problems and stimulation of the local economy, as well as providing new employment opportunities. Velo-taxis are operated through cooperative efforts by passengers, advertising sponsors, drivers and local residents. While adopted mainly in Europe, only Japan operates among Asian countries. While the fees vary between cities, in Tokyo the basic rate is 660 yen ($6.6) for the first half kilometer. In Kyoto, the charges begin from 300 yen ($3).