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Pedicabs: Rise of Rickshaws Downtown
A New Alternative Form of Nighttime
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 --- Recorded
Archive Available for Network Members
In the last decade, cities across the United States
have experienced significant growth in pedicab service. Found in
hospitality zones and other tourist areas, pedicabs (also known
as cycle rickshaws) are mainly used for short sightseeing rides
as alternatives to taxi cabs and mass public transportation.
especially, pedicabs have been serving locals and tourists for
many years. Pedicabs offer many distinct advantages over other
transportation services: they boast zero emissions and have
space for advertising; they offer a flexible and healthy job to
the operator; they can bypass traffic; and they offer a unique,
This new breed of pedal-powered businesses
also reflects the growing success of the bicycle movement in the
The growth of pedicabs has drawn the attention
of city planners, managers and police. As in all popular modes
of transportation, pedicab accidents do occur and safety
regulation has gained traction. Now is the time for cities to
consider the role that pedicabs can assume in their hospitality
zones, and how that goal can be achieved
How do pedicabs affect vibrancy
and safety in a hospitality zone? What risks and benefits
are associated with increased pedicab service, and how
should cities respond?
Should pedicabs be regulated like
taxis or bicycles? Many cities have passed safety
regulations for pedicab service, and some have even limited
service during rush hour or within hospitality zones. A few
have even begun to license pedicabs and limit their numbers.
What is the appropriate amount of regulation to ensure
competition and vibrancy while upholding safety?
How can pedicab operators be
incorporated as ambassadors of sociability? Like taxi
drivers, pedicab operators are in constant communication
with hospitality zone patrons. Can they promote events?
Should they charge a flat rate or ask for tips? Who
makes a good pedicab driver?