Two donkeys have joined the public transportation service in Italy's Reggio Emilia, bringing a cheap and green way of travel to local residents.
Since March 1, the two strong donkeys began to provide service to locals who needed help carrying groceries home.
"I come to the square's open fair for groceries every Saturday. The donkey taxi is a marvelous idea. They help shoppers to carry their heavy goods home, while at the same producing no pollution," local resident Elisa Marchi said.
The donkey taxi idea was launched by the local agricultural association and a donkey breeding company.
The association believes this move is an effective way to preserve past traditions.
"Italian farming used to be backwards in the past and transportation at that time mainly depended on donkeys, horses and oxen. Now, we bring the donkeys back to city, which means a continuation of tradition and culture," said Marino Lani, the president of Coldiretti of Reggio Emilia.
As the donkeys' owner, local farmer Massimo Montanari expressed that although the donkeys are not as fast as modern transportation tools, they can save money and protect the environment.
"We don't need to spend much money on raising the donkeys. They only need common grass, which is even ignored by horses. Moreover, the donkeys' dung is rich in mineral substances, which produces no pollution to land and is beneficial to the plants' growth," he said.
According to Montanari, local residents are not accustomed to using donkeys to carry heavy goods, but they have already begun to like these two adorable animals and he is sure that people will get used to this new mode of public transportation.