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Pedicab (Rickshaw):
Taxis Without An Attitude





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The information on this page has not been updated since 2020. While some of it might still be relevant, there are no guarantees.

Hardly forming a tidal wave of clean, quiet, collective transportation, pedicabs (a.k.a. rickshaws, trishaws, cyclos, triciclos, cycle-rickshaws, bike-taxis, becaks, sidecars, sai kaa, san lun che, jinrikisha, human powered taxis) have found their way into the travel mix of a number of communities. For those who would like to introduce them in their hometowns we have collected a little information about the industry.

At the University of Oregon there is a service that uses tandem and triplet bikes to escort people at night ("Tandem Taxi").  This is a free service operating out of the University's Public Safety Dept.

Most of the other pedicab businesses, outside of developing nations, are seasonal. Following the pattern of the tourist trade and special events.

Directory of Pedicab Transportation Service (Taxi) Companies An attempt at a worldwide directory of human powered taxi services.

Pedicab/Rickshaw Manufacturers Go here if you want to buy one or a fleet.

Starting a Pedicab Taxi Company and Getting Insurance We have collected a few leads if you want to get into the business.

Pedicab Forum Discussions relating to the hardware and business of  rickshaws and pedicabs.

Pedicab Links: Regulatory Resources, History, Styles, Code of Conduct, etc.

Pedicab Operators Associations.

Chasing Rickshaws (Lonely Planet Pictorial Series), by Tony Wheeler and Richard I'anson, contains interesting commentary on the history and culture, accompanied by lovely images of pedicabs in Agra, Calcutta, Hanoi, Macau, Penang, Singapore, Beijing, Dhaka, Hong Kong, Manila, Rangoon and Yogykarta.

Rickshaw and Pedicab Bans Unfortunately there have been numerous bans on rickshaws and Pedicab.  Some of the major bans have been in Dhaka, Bangladesh, several cities in India and Jakarta, Indonesia.  Each has a severe impact on the livelihoods they destroy and the environments the force to be more carbon dependent.  An Internet search will lead to more information on these atrocities.  It has been a long and heat issue in Dhaka.  A couple of posting are:

Starting a Pedicab Taxi Company

There is quite a bite of variation in the structure of pedicab companies. We don't know of any study that has catalogued the variations.  In generally, the company owners generate revenue by selling advertising space on the vehicles and renting them to drivers. The owners advertise the business and administer/coordinate any central dispatching.  A common structure is for the drivers to pay a daily fee (rent) for the use of the pedicab. The drivers generate income by selling their transportation and supplemental services (concierge, city guide, entertainment, etc.)  In some communities licenses are required for the vehicles and/or the drivers.  Business licenses and insurance coverage can also be required.  Check with the local jurisdictions for the specifics of local ordinances.

When selecting a pedicab manufacture for purchasing pedicabs there is more to consider than just price; such as safety, weight, warranty, gearing, durability, ride smoothness, passenger comfort (space, sitting surface, sun/rain protection, etc), advertising space, ease of maintenance, curb appeal, delivery, etc.

The following might be helpful (if you know of others please let us know):

If you have additional information about Pedicabs please let us know so we can add it to our files.

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