Thanks to Homeless Dave for the photo!
Phil Farber reports to the WBWC mail list that five pedicabs are currently offering free rides outside of the Michigan Union. From chatting with the drivers, Phil got plenty of details on the program.
They were offering free rides and had 5 customers this morning. Chase bank is financing the cabs as an advertising gimmick for the next four weeks. The cabs have Chase advertising emblazoned on the sides. There were no takers during the 5 minutes or so I was talking to the drivers.
The company is Bici-Cab. They have 52 of the cabs in New York and some in a few other cities as well. The drivers make good money charging by the block. The cabs are high-quality with molded fiberglass shells, fully geared, with light-weight motorcycle wheels/tires, seating 2 + driver, made in Germany and selling for $14,000 apiece.
We are big fans of the pedicab not because they are the most efficient transportation option, but because they make any trip feel like a Sunday Stroll. A street with pedicabs runs at a slower and more enjoyable pace.
Now, whether a $14,000, fiberglass-covered cab is the best form for a pedicab to take is debatable. Of course Chase bank is not advocating pedicab design here, they are advertising and these cabs certainly sound flashy and extravagant.
So stop by the Union and take a ride, if only to enjoy the fall weather in human-powered comfort. We'd love to post a photo here, if someone could snap one.