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A dolmuş is a form of mini-bus transportation which are privately-owned vehicles, normally with a capacity of 14 passengers, that run on set routes within cities and to and from outlying towns and villages.

 

They work on a fixed fee system: whatever the distance, passengers pay a set amount (around 1 YTL within cities, more for longer rural routes). There are dolmuş stops, but on quieter routes dolmuş may be hailed at any point on the route. Recently dolmuş started to run on a schedule in and around Marmaris.

 

Dolmuş means "stuffed", as they depart not on fixed schedules but when sufficient passengers have boarded. It is customary for the passengers to cooperate in passing fares forward to the driver ands passing change back. During rush hours number of passangers is often more than the legaly allowed capacity. So don't panic seing the afoot pasangers suddenly bent down and trying to hide upon dirver's alert of a traffic policeman ahead. It is a tradition that youngsters offer their seats to elderly persons and to women traveling with babies/children or carrying heavy bags.    

 

Since rapid transit in Turkish cities is still being developed, a dolmuş is often the only alternative. Dolmuş drivers especially in big cities of heavy traffic have a reputation for being aggressive, fearless and rude; and driving dangerously fast without paying attention to traffic rules. However, a dolumuş ride is also considered the only reliable form of rapid transit in Istanbul, and the only form of mass transit running 24 hours a day in Turkey.

 

The dolmuş is equivalent to the Russian marshrutka, the South African minibus taxi and the Central and South American collectivo.

 

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