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May 04, 2008

Hailing a 21st Century Rickshaw in Toronto, for Free

Eco_cab According to Wikipedia:

"Cycle rickshaws are Human-powered, often used on a for hire basis, equipped with one or more seats for carrying passengers in addition to the driver.

Cycle rickshaws are widely used in major cities around the world and are usually found in major urban centers, tourist attractions, and events that draw large crowds. Many cycle rickshaws have replaced less-efficient rickshaws that are pulled by a person on foot."

Wikipedia has some great info, including about where the contraprions are actually prohibited, and photos of different styles from around the world.

Cycle rickshaws are found in most large European cities, and have been gaining footholds in America, in New York, and CA..

The latest entry has just begun operation in Toronto, Canada, and won't charge a dime (or whatever the money in Canada is called!).

The above photo accompanied a story on Intelligent Traveller, which is one of two blogs I found that have reported on this.

Apparently this version, called an EcoCab, "runs mostly on a trained driver’s pedal-power, and is powered by a rechargeable electric battery".  (Toronto has hills, don't ya know, hee, hee!)

These emission-free three-wheelers go a spritely 7.5 miles an hour in bike lanes!

Rides are free, funded by advertising on the outside of each cab.

Intelligent Travel: Free EcoCabs, Eh?

According to the Torontoist:

"The Star also pointed out that the free service likely won't go over well with the notoriously cutthroat (not really) cadre of local rickshaw drivers (most of whom are merely in it for the money and—let's face it—glamour). It can't hurt, however, to have a new resource available for those environmentally conscious travellers who are willing to put up with a bit of B.O. so the earth doesn't have to deal the extra CO2."

Torontoist: Toronto's getting a free ride.

The comments on both blogs, about this, are an interesting mix. ;-D

May 4, 2008 in Cycling News Network | Permalink

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Comments

Rickshaws in large cities are a great idea.

However for me the 'ecocab' shown above just doesn't quite have enough character compared to some of the contraptions on the streets today.

Posted by: thePig | May 4, 2008 5:13:27 AM

Hi Kiril,

Hey, Steve from REI-Huntington Beach, here.

Did you see the two Rickshaws in HB at the Pier?

Posted by: pipelinepirate | May 6, 2008 9:21:17 AM

And, if you are in Australia, you can catch a pedapod.

Not always a free ride, but always fun! (Click on my name to learn more!)

Posted by: Jan | May 7, 2008 7:39:54 PM

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