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Pedicabs cash-in at Texas festival

filed under: Pedicab News — Importer @ 7:43 pm March 19th, 2010

by Sam Sanders

The South by Southwest music festival bills itself as “the premier destination for discovery.” It’s also the destination for truckloads of cash, as music and art fans flock to Austin, Texas, each March. Last year’s event brought nearly $100 million to the city, according to one analyst.

The more than 200,000 “creative class” types — musicians, media gurus, filmmakers — who come to South by Southwest (often known merely as SXSW) spend money not only at the official event, but also in Austin’s rich underground economy.

The annual festival has become a cash cow for the city, says Ben Loftsgaarden, an economic analyst with Greyhill Advisors who studied the economic impact of last year’s event.

(more…)

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Pedicabber works for tips, love of biking

filed under: Pedicab News — Importer @ 6:54 pm December 23rd, 2009

Pedicab works for tips, love of biking

Tony Benedict, right, pedals four pedestrians home from a night of partying Friday from Albert Avenue.

By Daniel Luscombe

Wearing a black leather jacket reminiscent of Johnny Ramone, well-manicured facial hair and a big grin, Tony Benedict, owner of Pure Power Pedicab, is East Lansing’s one and only bicycle taxi.

Benedict, an East Lansing resident and former paramedic, has been serving the East Lansing community since November 2008 with his human-powered mode of transportation.

“I go completely on tips, and I do that because I don’t want to set a set rate,” Benedict said. “Some people just want a ride and they really don’t have a lot of money. I figure everyone should have a ride if they just want to go home and they don’t live too far away.”

On average, Benedict said he is tipped $5-$6 for rides that average about a quarter mile, although a particularly generous customer once gave him $100.

(more…)

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Secretos del transporte más exótico de Londres: el rickshaw

filed under: Pedicab News — Importer @ 6:45 pm December 20th, 2009

Por CELIA MAZA DE PABLO (SOITU.ES)

LONDRES.-  Con Boris Johnson los londinenses han cogido el gusto por los pedales. Pero fueron otros los que encontraron mucho antes el potencial a ir sobre ruedas en el ajetreado asfalto de la capital británica. Son muchos los que conocen los ‘rickshaws’, pero muy pocos los que saben verdaderamente los secretos de estos populares triciclos que trabajan como bici taxis. Visitamos ‘Shone Lane’, el gran garaje donde duermen los pedicabs más famosos de toda Europa.

Para entrar hay que marcar una clave en la puerta que sólo conocen los conductores de estos vehículos. “Entran y salen cuando quieren. Ellos se ponen sus propios horarios”, cuenta Vanessa Celosse, que trabaja en Bugbugs, el primer operador que en 1998 sacó a la calle una flota de 18 ciclocarros. En principio, el proyecto estaba destinado para dar “trabajo verde” a los desempleados, pero hoy en día muy pocos viven exclusivamente de dar al pedal. La mayoría de los conductores son jóvenes que vienen a aprender inglés o estudiantes que quieren sacarse el dinero para pagar el alquiler mientras acaban sus clases.

(more…)

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It’s Swell on Wheels in Streets of Oak Bluffs

filed under: Pedicab News — Importer @ 8:34 pm July 20th, 2009

By BRITTANY LYTE

What’s yellow, on wheels, and found carting paying (and non-paying) passengers all over Oak Bluffs? The answer is a new, open-air way to tour the Island’s pastel-painted town or bar hop along Circuit avenue: Vineyard Pedicab.

If a bicycle got together with a taxi, the pair would birth a pedicab. These school-bus-yellow carts fused to 21-gear bikes hit the streets of Oak Bluffs more than six weeks ago. For a pay-at-what-you-will price, a cheery man or woman with killer calf muscles and a bell will cart you to your in-town destination — from the ferry dock to your bed and breakfast, from your harborside parked car to a taco platter at Sharky’s Cantina, or for a whirl around Cottage City. The only rule is to sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. (more…)

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Enjoy ocean air and sunshine from a Pedicab

filed under: Pedicab News — Importer @ 10:54 pm June 2nd, 2009

Ocean Isle Beach visitors and residents have a new option for
traveling around the island this summer.

Coastal Bike Cabs, a new pedicab service, begins operations here in
early June. Pedicabs are bicycle-driven pedestrian taxis that offer an
environmentally friendly alternative to short-distance travel.

“It’s a great way to see our island and visit restaurants and shops
while enjoying the fresh air,” says Betsy Palmer, owner of Coastal
Bike Cabs. (more…)

http://www.pedicab.com/wordpress/enjoy-ocean-air-and-sunshine-from-a-pedicab/trackback/

Pedaling His Patrons

filed under: Pedicab News — Importer @ 6:18 pm January 14th, 2009

Entrepreneur powers his one-man horseless carriage during the wee hours Downtown

Wes Weisheit vigorously pedaled his bike along North Fourth Avenue, pulling a reporter in the “cab” behind. The gentle bumps during the ride seemed to echo the pulsating beats from the Bose stereo attached to his bike.

This open-air taxi burns no gasoline and provides a leisurely ride to your destination.

Otherwise known as pedicabs, rickshaws or bike taxis, you’ve probably seen them cruising the streets during University of Arizona football games or late night on Fourth Avenue.

(more…)

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And the Drivers Have Such Fab Legs!

filed under: Pedicab News — Importer @ 12:00 am November 20th, 2008

pedicab-drivers-have-fab-legsAm I the last person in the western hemisphere to find out that the pedicab, known in Far East since the 30s as the cheapest means of city transportation, has made it big in the urban US? After 11 years on the streets in the Big Apple, there are enough of these bicycle-drawn passenger vehicles to rile the City Council into regulating them and banning the ones with electric motors. The spoilsports. The New York horsedrawn carriage and taxi trades are complaining that pedicabs cut into their business without having the expense of licenses and insurance.

Pedicabs are also beginning to tote tourists in downtown Portland, OR, Denver and Ft. Lauderdale, as well as in Spain, Denmark, England, Israel and Canada. Most carry two people, but there’s a four-passenger pedicab being operated in Phoenix. They’re even emblazoned with advertising, like taxis and buses.

(more…)

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Pedicab Junction in NYC

filed under: Pedicab News — Importer @ 12:11 am June 29th, 2008

pedicab-junction-nycBy Andrea Sachs
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, June 29, 2008; P06

Among the experiences that make one go “Eek!,” tooling around Manhattan in a rickshaw ranks high, falling somewhere between a cab ride during rush hour and walking through Times Square after the theaters let out. Some of the bike-drawn buggies come equipped with seat belts; others don’t. You decide your threshold of thrill.

“There’s a real rush going through traffic,” said Jacob Press, a tour guide with the Manhattan Rickshaw Co., the longest continuously operating pedicab outfit in New York City. “We can always find a way through.”

I have explored the City That Never Stops by foot, bus and bike. But on a recent trip, I wanted to sightsee in a vehicle that was intimate with the urban landscape but didn’t require any energy expenditure. So I called Manhattan Rickshaw a few days before my visit and booked Press and his quads.

Rickshaws are pervasive in Asia, where the economical bicycles with big back seats jostle for space among mopeds, cars, beasts of burden and swarms of pedestrians. In the United States, they’re more of a novelty than a necessity but are a rousing ride nonetheless. Though passengers are not as vulnerable as the biker, they’re still thrust into the chaotic street scene.

“It’s a combination of entertainment and transportation,” said Manhattan Rickshaw owner Peter Meitzler, who was instrumental in bringing pedicabs to New York. “It’s fun and environmental and fills a niche.”

(more…)

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DaVinci Institute Guest Speaker Steve Meyer

filed under: Press Releases — Importer @ 11:49 pm August 20th, 2007

Past Speaker: Startup Junkie Underground

SPEAKER: Steve Meyer – Founder and CEO Mainstreet Pedicab
DATE: August 20 & 22, 2007
TOPIC: Peddling Your Way to Success – The Mainstreet Pedicab Story

Pedicabs are human-powered taxis seen in many of the major cities around the world. They work well for not only transporting people, but also for the delivery of food and merchandise.

In a world that is becoming overwhelmed with too many cars, pedicabs offer a green and sometimes romantic alternative. While they work best over short distances ranging from 2 to 10 blocks, they are fully capable of traversing much greater distances.

Steve Meyer didn’t invent the pedicab, but he is in the process of perfecting the marketplace for it. With multiple income streams and a loyal following, the pedicab industry is breaking into new territory.

Here is what it took for Steve Meyer to become one of the leading figures in the pedicab industry, and how Donald Trump had a hand in his success.

Speaker: Steve Meyer is the Founder and CEO of Mainstreet Pedicab in Broomfield and has worked most of his professional life self-employed, interspersed with periods of employment.

He attended the University of Colorado from 1972 trough 1979 getting both a BA in Environmental Biology and an MA in Economics. He spent more than a year of this time traveling in S. America, Asia, Europe and Africa.

For many years, Meyer worked in the real estate industry doing economic and market research for real estate developers. His interest in the redevelopment of downtown areas and his experiences in Asia were key factors in his development of Main Street Pedicabs. Main Street was founded in 1992 and is the largest manufacturer of this type of vehicle in N. America.

http://www.pedicab.com/wordpress/davinci-institute-guest-speaker-steve-meyer/trackback/

Pedicabs Owe a Big Hail to the Chief, Steve Meyer

filed under: Pedicab News — Importer @ 10:48 pm March 15th, 2006

Published March 15, 2006 by RockyMountain News
By Joanne Kelley, Rocky Mountain News

BROOMFIELD – Main Street Pedicabs has grown in fits and starts since Steve Meyer founded the company 14 years ago.

Based in this northern suburb of Denver, the company has turned out about 1,000 of its pedal-powered taxis throughout the years. But the rickshawlike contraptions have become a familiar sight in more and more downtown areas around the globe – most recently in Manhattan’s bustling, traffic-clogged Times Square.

Meyer, 52, hadn’t intended to start a business when he first bought a pedicab from an acquaintance in Aspen. But when he had trouble getting replacement parts for his hobby vehicle, he soon found himself trying to build a better one from scratch.

“I always kind of had a vision they could be used in America, but I didn’t know I was going to be the guy to do it,” said Meyer, who spent the early part of his career doing market research and planning for developers.

Initially, New Yorkers seemed reluctant to be seen in pedicabs. Like self-conscious teenagers, some requested they be dropped a block away from their destinations.

A spate of publicity has helped to spur acceptance.

A bright-yellow model is featured prominently on the cover of the Fodor’s New York City 2006, a guide to the city.

Contestants pedaled them a few months ago on NBC’s weight-loss show, The Biggest Loser. An appearance on The Apprentice two years ago helped to fuel interest.

But Main Street Pedicabs has grown in a number of directions from its manufacturing roots. Selling advertising space on the back of the taxis has become a significant part of the business. And Meyer is a co-owner of several pedicab-operating companies around the country, including Mile High Pedicabs in Denver.

“I make more money operating a pedicab than making one,” he said.

“The business works for us because we’re involved in so many facets of it,” Meyer said Tuesday in his newly expanded office, which still smelled strongly of a fresh coat of green paint.

Meyer gets help from his wife, Ruth Vanderkooi, when she’s not tending to her family medical practice. Otherwise, he has just a few full-time employees who assemble the pedicabs one at a time in space above the company’s offices.

As Meyer sits at his computer, he sees a call coming in from Tel Aviv, Israel, where he has been talking to someone who wants to buy a couple of the pedicabs for his own personal use.

Individuals increasingly have been buying the pedicabs to use in town or to get around islands where parking is scarce.

The pedicabs start at $2,900 but can cost as much $5,000 with all the options. They are built like mountain bikes, with 21 speeds, and have a cushioned carriage in the rear for toting passengers.

Meyer, who grew up in Boulder, said he is often questioned about whether he pursued pedicabs because of environmental concerns. But he insists his main motivation is “improving the quality of life” in cities. “I’d rather promote something than list all the things I’m against,” he said.

In Denver, pedicabs tend to operate on nights and weekends, during ballgames and other events that require people to walk several blocks from parking areas or light-rail stops.

“They add a real vitality to downtown,” said Tami Door, president of the Downtown Denver Partnership. “People like it because it’s fun. Downtowns should be fun.”

Ed Oliver, who is Meyer’s partner in the Denver pedicab operation, said he often drives a pedicab around the Pepsi Center parking lot, offering free rides during events. In most cases, passengers wind up tipping him at least $5 a ride.

“People hate walking across parking lots,” Meyer said.

With a new St. Louis Cardinals ballpark set to open in April, a budding pedicab operator awaits her order from Main Street Pedicabs.

“We want to get a business started just to and fro,” said St. Louis resident Jill Saettele, an avid cyclist who found Main Street Pedicabs on the Internet. “The parking (at the new stadium) is very limited, so they’re doing shuttles. This is the most fantastic opportunity.”

The pedicabs have caught on most in urban environments, but have also captured the attention of an array of communities with a shortage of downtown parking.

Meyer initially thought Aspen might be a good market. “But nobody who would drive one could afford to live in Aspen,” he said.

A new customer from Crested Butte picked one up Monday, with hopes of building a following in the ski town.

Long Beach, Calif., is about to get a fleet of pedicabs for its downtown.

“It’s part of the overall eclectic experience we’re trying to create,” said Kraig Kojian, president of Downtown Long Beach Associates, the improvement district for the oceanfront community. “We don’t have seasons, so people can enjoy the experience throughout the year.”

Main Street Pedicabs

• Home base: Broomfield

• Founded: 1992

• Products: Bicycle-powered taxis selling for between $2,900 and $5,000, with all the options

• Markets: Urban areas such as New York City, Denver, London, Paris and others

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Main Street Pedicabs, Inc.™ has been perfecting the design of human-powered vehicles since 1992. Available in pedicab, truck, and delivery van configurations, each vehicle shares the refinements gained from Main Street's fleet operations in Denver, Colorado and of our customers. The Boardwalk Pedicab™, Classic Pedicab™, Broadway Pedicab™, Billboard Bike™, Pedal Pick-Up™, Pedicabvertising™ and all trademarks and logos appearing on this website, are trademarks or registered trademarks of Main Street Pedicabs, Inc.™ or their respective trademark holders. Price and availability subject to change without notice. We are a proud supporter of all green initiatives that contribute to reducing our carbon footprint.

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