January 17, 2014

Work as a pedicab driver with Movemint Bike Cab. SXSW is coming.

Driving a pedicab is a fun way to make a living or to earn extra money as a part time job.

Pedicabbing is fun!

Making money as a pedicab driver works much the same way as driving a taxi, or renting a chair in a hair salon. Pedicab drivers are self employed and paid by their passengers. Pedicab drivers rent equipment from a pedicab company. After paying the pedicab company their rental fee, all money left over is the drivers to keep.

Pedicab drivers are required to know and follow the State of Texas rules of the road, City of Austin for-hire vehicle rules, Austin Police Department 6th street pedicab operation rules, work according to the pedicab community standards, follow all company rules and standards of practice for safe pedicab operation, be a positive representative of the pedicab community, treat their customers well, and charge a fair price for the services rendered.

Special skills and experiences that can be helpful, but not required, for making better tips faster include:

  • Service industry experience. (Bartender, Waiter, Waitress, Valet, hotel, etc.)
  • Moderate to high levels of physical fitness.
  • Being able to comfortably and safely ride a bicycle in busy traffic.
  • Knowledge of Downtown Austin.
  • Sassiness, Gumption, Savvy, and Fortitude
  • Good and thorough training.
  • Support from your pedicab company and fellow riders.

The City of Austin places a few requirements on pedicab drivers that must be met. These requirements are the same as are placed on other “for-hire” drivers such as taxi, limo, and shuttle van drivers.

To become a pedicab driver you must do / have the following:

  • Must have a current and valid Texas drivers license.
  • Must provide a Certified Abstract Type AR or Certified Type 3A copy of Texas driving history. (Get it online here. $22 Type are is preferred to avoid problems.)
  • Must provide a CERTIFIED copy of Texas criminal history. (Get it here. 108 Dension Dr, Austin TX 78752 9AM to 5PM. $25)
  • Fill out City of Austin pedicab driver application (Download here: New pedicab application)

The following items and steps may be required depending on individual circumstance:

  • If you have any traffic tickets on your driving history record(s) with in the last 3 years, you must provide proof of completion of a Defensive Driving course. This can be in the form of a official certificate, or as a screen shot showing you successfully completed the corse. (Take it online or in person here. $30)
  • If you have had a “Non-Texas” drivers license within the last 3 years, you must also provide certified copies of your out-of-state driving history, and criminal history. You will need to contact your previous state of residence to get this. (example: Colorado Bureau of Investigation, New York D.M.V. etc.)
  • If you are a new Texas licensee, and do not yet have your plastic drivers license card, your paper copy will not have an audit number on it. With out this you will not be able to download your Texas driving history. You will either want to wait until they mail you the hard copy (up to 6 weeks from date of issuance), or download and mail in the DR-1 form to get your driving history via mail. This may take 1 to 2 weeks.

  • Come to the pedicab shop for an interview, application review, tour and Q&A Session. (We are located here. 1710 E. Second St Austin, TX 78702 M-Th 11 AM to 4 PM or by appointment)
  • Sign a pedicab rental contract. Sign up on the Facebook private discussion page. We will then need to sign your application.
  • Go to the City Ground Transportation Office, turn in your documents, take a very simple knowledge test based Texas road rules, City of Austin for-hire vehicle rules, and local landmarks that a pedicab might transport passengers to. Read this article if want to study.
  • Pay them $20 for the license. (Located here: 1111 Rio grande Austin TX 78701. Monday to Friday 8 AM to 11 AM)
  • Schedule a training session to learn correct operation and maintenance of a pedicab, review rules of the road, and get a tour of the city. (Sessions are individually scheduled Monday to Thursday starting 4 PM to 9 PM. Plan for session taking up to 5 hours. Additional training may be required based on individual drivers needs.)


Why Movemint Bike Cab is a better pedicab company to work for:

  1. Movemint is a rider owned company. Company owners, David Knipp and Ken Cameron have been making their living in the pedicab industry for more than 6 years each. We know what it takes to be a professional pedicab driver.
  2. Movemint has a new spacious facility to comfortably house equipment and provide creature comforts to the pedicab drivers. These comforts include, rider lounge, public bathroom and soon public computer with internet connection, kitchen, and shower.
  3. Movemint has pedicab operations in Houston Texas, and Arlington Texas. As a Movemint rider you are able to work in these other cities at lucrative special events like Rangers Baseball Games, Dallas Cowboys Football Games, Texas Rodeo, Free Press Music Fest, etc.
  4. Movemint Bike Cab regularly travels to work special events around the nation. Recent events have included: 2013 Presidential Inauguration, 2012 Democratic National Convention, 2012 Kentucky Derby, 2012 Texas Rodeo, 2012 Freepress Music Fest, 2011 Baseball world series, 2010 Baseball world series, 2011 NFL Superbowl, 2009 Superbowl, 2009 Presidential Inauguration, 2008 Democratic National Convention. See pictures of our recent adventures on our Facebook page.
  5. Movemint Bike Cab has their own Machine shop where we modify, improve, upgrade, and occasionally build from scratch our own pedicabs. The owners of Movemint have skills in Welding, machining, metal fabrication, bicycle bicycle frame building, and bicycle mechanics. We are constantly working to improve our pedicabs. We push the state of the art to make our pedicabs faster, lighter, safer, more reliable,and less strenuous to operate.
  6. All of our pedicabs are American made tricycles with 26″ or 29″ wheels. If a pedicab company you are considering working for tells you that you must provide your own mountain bike, they are going make you pull a trailer adapted to be a pedicab with your own bike. There are several problems with trailer style pedicabs. Trailers have smaller 20″ wheels and thus have higher, rolling resistance. Trailers also tend to not have any additional brakes to cope the added weight of the passengers making them harder to operate safely. Our American made trikes are significantly lighter weight than many of our competitors Chinese import trikes. Because our bikes also have full sized 26″ or 29″ wheels and weight less, this makes driving our pedicabs far less strenuous. This gives the rider extra energy to have a better attitude, take more rides, and complete the rides they take more quickly, thus helping the rider make more money.

It is Movemint’s belief that our pedicab drivers are charismatic professional athletes. As such they should have the best equipment that we can reasonably provide to help them make a comfortable living. The company owners work constantly to provide opportunities for our riders to make money. We know that the pedicab business has seasonal fluctuations in rider income, so we work very hard to provide our riders a steady income year round. In doing these things we try to help our drivers earn a “middle class” income to be able to take care of themselves and their families.

To become a Movemint pedicab rider, please text or phone Ken Cameron (512-584-9233 10AM to 9PM ) or David Knipp (3PM to Midnight 512-665-2454) or email us at:
newrider@austinpedicab.org

Comments Comments | Categories: SXSW | Posted by: Ken Cameron




August 27, 2013

Chicago should adopt modern best practices for pedicab regulation.

In response to the Chicago ABC Chanel 7 news article and video found here:

 http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/iteam&id=9220159

and

http://abclocal.go.com/wls/video?id=9220212&pid=9220159

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Pedicabs, in their modern form, have been operating around the United States for over 20 years. They started in places like Denver with Mile High Pedicab, the Florida keys, and the 1972 Worlds Fair in Spokane, Washington . While there are currently no laws on the books in Chicago to govern pedicab operation, that does not mean there are no standards of practice. These standards have developed over the past 2 decades+ in conjunction with the transportation departments in many major cities, specialty insurance providers, pedicab manufacturers, and pedicab fleet owners.  Many, but not all Chicago fleet owners are “graduates” of pedicab industries in other cities and have adopted methods of operation that have been successful elsewhere.  Those that have not, should be made to do so.

Without a local legal framework and oversight these standards are not enforceable. While some will scoff at developing such a frame work, and working with the local authorities, doing so will ultimately bring about a more stable environment for pedicab companies to grow into. The legitimization that comes with a pedicab inspection, vehicle registration and pedicab operator license is invaluable. While there will be additional costs imposed to put these structures in place, the additional income to, and stabilization of the industry will more than offset the higher overhead.

Basic industry standards that have developed over time include:
1) Insurance requirements to protect the passenger in case of accident.

2) Definition of minimum vehicle standards (lights, brakes, seating, strong wheels, seat belts, etc.

3) Minimum vehicle appearance standards ( not rusty, upholstery in good condition, clear markings of company name, cab number and company phone number

4) Safe areas of operation (stay off roads with speed limits of over 35 or 40 mph and up. Requirements that pedicabs cross bridges where blind spots exist on a cycle path or side walk.

5) Requirement of purpose built pedicabs whose original intent was for transporting passengers safely on a commercial basis. (Banning adapted vehicle configurations that utilize components that were never manufactured to safely transport a driver and 2 to 3 passengers. I.E. Mountain bikes and home made trailers)

6) Regular vehicle inspection to make sure requirements are being met.  Inspections should check the function of all safety systems to ensure minimum standards are being met.  (Vehicle stopping distance, visability at night from distance, etc.)

7) Posting of fares.

8 ) Maximum passenger limits. (Typically 3 with seating space for all.)

9) Establishment of pedicab operator license that requires amongst other things, legal working status, and a valid united states drivers license (That is, no J1 visa students with international drivers licenses who are going to leave the country in a few months.)

10) Regular review and updating of ordinances to fix problems that develop.

11) Capping the number of pedicabs at a certain level that is able to form a “critical mass” of pedicabs able to meet the needs and demands of the public. (This is likely to grow over time. Too few will hurt the industry and prevent public recognition, too many will create excessive competition which could lead to eroding the public trust from desperate pedicab drivers taking advantage of tourists, etc. )

12) Capping the number of pedicabs that any one fleet owner can place in the market place to prevent monopolistic abuse of pedicab operators and help insure fair treatment to passengers.

Comments Comments | Categories: City News | Posted by: Ken Cameron




August 5, 2013

Pedicab Advertising during ACL and F1

Pedicabs are an incredible way to promote you message and have it be seen by thousands of people every day.  Movemint Bike Cab operates it pedicabs year round and every day in Downtown Austin.  Downtown Austin is a is a great market for advertisers to reach youthful customers who seek out adventure and excitement.  Our pedicabs portray a sense of fun, vitality and daring-do.

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Contact us in the following ways:

Phone: 512-665-2454

email:  david@austinpedicab.org

Why Movemint Bike Cab is Different:

Movemint Bike Cab produces it’s own advertising vinyl wraps.  Unlike many of our competitors, we have the technical expertise to operate and have made the heavy investment into large format printers that will produce the crispest images, most accurate color representation and most beautiful images.  Because we own the fleet of pedicabs, and printing equipment, we have the experience with our product to give the best results and the low overhead to give the best prices.

Movemint Bike Cab runs a trikes only fleet.  Pedicab trikes, unlike mountain bike pulled trailers are known to be the safest most stable human powered vehicles.  With three wheels and an upright driver, it is very difficult for one to “loose it’s footing” while on the job.  By choosing to advertise on Movemint trikes you are assured that your image and message will get proper representation.

Movemint Bike Cab rents its cabs by the month to experienced and trained pedicab drivers.  By renting the bikes monthly, rather than daily, we may lose some short term profit, but we gain in more reliable, safer drivers that we have a long ongoing trouble-free relationship with.  Some of our drivers have been operating pedicabs with us for 5 years + .  Because of these extended relationships, we have a developed a solid reputation of having some of the best pedicab operators in Austin.

Movemint Bike Cab’s pedicabs are well maintained by professional bike mechanics.  Our mechanics currently work in, or have in the past worked in many highly regarded Austin local bike shops.  They are highly skilled, have all the tools and a dedicated work area they need to keep our pedicabs in good working order.  Hydraulic disc brake systems, 21 to 24 speed drive trains, 48 spoke wheels, and passenger seat belts are important subsystems that help keep our vehicles safe. By maintaining those subsystems well, we are working to assure our passengers and advertisers the best possible experience.

During ACL and F1 pedicabs are seen everywhere.  We will transport festival goers from their hotels to the entry gates, and from the gates back downtown for a night full of festivities.  Because automobile traffic grinds to a standstill during most big events, and all other transportation systems are greatly slowed down, the humble, nimble, fleet moving pedicab quickly becomes the transportation solution of choice.  When all other mobile advertisements are stuck in traffic, and have stopped being effective, we keep on moving and and displaying our customer’s messages to pedestrians, our passengers and every one  else that may become stuck in overloaded thoroughfares.

Below are a few thumbnail samples of advertising campaigns that we have done over the years.  Click to make bigger. More samples and information is available by request.

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Contact us in the following ways for aditional information and rate quotes:

Phone: 512-665-2454

email:  email: david@austinpedicab.org

Comments Comments | Categories: City News | Posted by: Ken Cameron




April 25, 2013

Scottsdale passes pedicab ordinance, sets new safety regulations

Source:

http://www.abc15.com

Scottsdale passes pedicab ordinance, sets new safety regulations

By: Josh Frigerio

04/09/2013

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - Pedicabs are now being more regulated after the city of Scottsdale approved a new ordinance Tuesday evening.

The city of Scottsdale voted 7-0 to pass the so-called pedicab ordinance which requires pedicabs to follow some stricter guidelines, said Kelly Corsette, spokesperson for the City of Scottsdale.

The call for tighter regulations for pedicabs stems from a Jan. 3 accident that left three people injured after a car crashed into the Pedicab. The accident happened at 3 a.m. on Scottsdale Road near McDonald Drive.

“They are not trying to put us out of business but help the business” said pedicab operator Jason Holt, who spoke to the council members during the meeting.

The passing of the ordinance now establishes insurance requirements for pedicabs, sets specific size requirements, sets standards for lights and reflectors, requires pedicabs to have brakes and requires drivers to have a driver’s license.

The ordinance also designates where pedicabs can and cannot operate. Pedicabs can only operate on a street that contains a bike lane when there is a sign displaying a speed limit of 35 miles per hour or greater.

Pedicab operators will be able to apply for a license within the next 30 days.

Comments Comments | Categories: Business News, Out of Town news | Posted by: Ken Cameron




With no rules of the road, Chicago’s pedicabs thrive

Source:
http://www.wbez.org/
With no rules of the road, Chicago’s pedicabs thrive

In Chicago’s ‘Wild West’ pedicab industry business is up, but so are run-ins with the police.
April 9, 2013

Caroline O’Donovan

As winter slowly melts into spring, you’ll see them around Chicago with greater frequency. Hanging around after Bulls games and theater performances, armed with heated blankets and bicycle bells. More than a few showed up outside Wrigley Field at the Cubs home opener on Monday. With warm weather on the way, not to mention baseball games and endless music festivals, Chicago’s pedicabs are ready to take over the streets again.

The giant tricycles with room for two in the back, have become a fixture in Chicago over the last few summers. It’s not just the flat terrain and lazy tourists. Unlike other major metropolises, Chicago has yet to pass any ordinance regulating pedicabs. That means there are no rules on the books about where they can go, what they can charge, or how to make them safe.

Those non-existent rules are a mixed bag according to the pedicabbers themselves. Some worry it could lead to lax safety standards and inconsistent fare pricing, which only hurts their reputation. Yet that same freedom from regulation, others argue, is why the industry is doing so well in Chicago.

To learn what this means for pedicabs and passengers alike, I decided to go for a ride. Darren Hilton, who has been a bike messenger and pedicab driver for fifteen years, picked me up one recent afternoon in his yellow pedicab at Navy Pier. Except, he couldn’t actually pick me up on the pier where WBEZ is located. Apparently, pedicabs aren’t allowed there according to the Chicago Parks District. It’s one of the few hard and fast rules for pedicabs in Chicago.

Darren, who has long dreads, and wore a black silk shirt with a red dragon on the back, knows those rules (or lack thereof) better than most. He also has a keen appreciation for his pedicabs’ origins.

“I like rickshaw, because of the ethnic connotation,” Darren told me, “Rickshaw is Japanese from jinrikisha which means human power. So a ballpoint pen is a jinrikisha. A hairbrush is a jinrikisha. Human powered.”

My human-powered transportation first headed north toward Water Tower Place and the Magnificent Mile, a typical route for the tourists who make up the majority of the pedicab driver’s customer base. Pedicabs are perfect for short distance trips, like moving party goers from bar to bar. But Darren has hopes that one day, pedicabs will be seen less as a tourist activity and more as a viable industry. But for that to happen, he says, there have to be regulations, especially when it comes to price.

Because there are no rules regulating what pedicab drivers can charge, it’s much easier to gouge prices in Chicago than in other cities. Pedicabbers who live in the city say some out-of-towners come to Chicago for the summer months and charge exorbitant prices and give the industry a bad name. And even well-meaning drivers say their rates can change based on weather, terrain, and the weight of the load - not to mention, how much they like the customer. In New York, pedicabbers charge by the minute. Darren says having regulations in place would help make the industry more reliable, and therefore more vibrant.

Chicago has had two shots at a pedicab ordinance before, neither of which made it through City Council. The biggest point of contention for the pro-pedicab interests was a restriction that would prevent pedicabs from operating in the Loop during rush hour. Some say the cabs contribute to gridlock, but Darren says especially with the help of protected bike lanes, pedicabs actually move faster than cars and can help commuters get to their destination more directly. “It’s all about maneuverability,” he says.

But as we headed south over the Michigan Avenue bridge, where honking cars and speeding busses grew increasingly closer, I asked Darren how he was sure that we were safe.

“It’s not been an industry that’s been as internally regulated as it could have been,” he said, “As a customer, you don’t know the difference between something that looks sound, and something that is.”

Most garages that rent pedicabs require insurance that protects passengers, but it’s not mandated citywide, and the drivers are rarely protected. Darren says he’s only ever heard of one pedicab injury in which a car was involved, and the Chicago Police Department say they don’t keep a record of pedicab related accidents.

The police and pedicabbers primarily interact — and clash — over traffic laws. There are a lot of laws that are hard to enforce for pedicabs, which tends to make for fractious relationships, says Darren. “They just make it up. They’re not bad guys, but there’s no book. That’s the thing. And they’re responsible for their beat. But they can’t enforce something that just doesn’t exist.”

Natalie Moberg is a bike messenger and pedicab driver who loves the freedom of being an independent contractor. During the summer, she and her fellow cab drivers make most of their money picking up Cubs fans after games at Wrigley Field.

“Most officers like us. We get the drunk people out of the stadium area. We get ‘em gone,” says Moberg.

But one day last August, Natalie learned what happens when the rules are left up in the air. She says she was waiting with other pedicabbers outside Wrigley Field, when a police officer drove up and confronted them.

“Officer Healy drives up, he gets out of his vehicle and says we can’t be on the street there, and I say, well, where would you like us to go, and he says, on the sidewalk.”

Natalie says that didn’t make any sense, since not even bicycles are allowed on sidewalks.

“So, he’s starts spouting out how like it’s all listed at the police station and I interrupted him and, I asked wait wait, there’s regulations? There’s no regulations in the city of Chicago.’”

Natalie says that, although she was arrested, the charges were dropped when the officer failed to appear in court. The judge, she added, was confused about whether it was a car or a bike that had been impounded. Natalie is waiting until she gets a drivers license to return to pedicabbing, which is something the garage she leases from wants her to have for insurance purposes.

Despite her run-in with the cops, Natalie isn’t ready to support certain regulations. “I think that would kill the spirit of the industry in Chicago. We’re the Wild West, and overall,” she says, “it seems like more of a headache.”

But Chicago transit experts say, while regulations might be a pain, they’re important to help build a diverse transit system in which people have options for how to get around. Joe Schwietermann, director of the Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development at DePaul, says pedicabs are, “part of the explosion of innovation we’re seeing in transportation, a lot of creative solutions to get people around.” He says pedicabs are an especially promising solution for traveling short-to-medium distances in dense urban environments.

But Schwietermann also has concerns about over-regulating the budding pedicab industry.

“It’s interesting how when things sound really good in Chicago you put it in the meat grinder of city hall, and something else come out,” he says, “and I think that’s the big risk here.”

Schwietermann points to last year’s food truck ordinance as an example. He believes the City Council’s regulations for mobile food vendors were too strict and thus hurt the growth of an industry that has flourished in other cities. (Check out WBEZ’s coverage of the food truck regulations here.)

As for the pedicabs, City Hall says there are a number of interested parties — pedicab garage owners, motor vehicle cab owners, aldermen, and more — at work on an ordinance, but nobody could say for sure what it might include, or when it will be announced. So for now, pedicabbers like Darren Hilton are making it up as they go along.

“We’re not bad people, we’re young. We’re 5 year-old dictators. Whatever we say goes. We don’t realize the repercussions of our actions,” Darren says. But in terms of building a long-term, stable industry with a reputation as fair business operators, he adds, “It always comes back to us, whatever we’ve done.”

As we headed back toward Navy Pier from Ogilvie Station, we breezed by cars and taxi cabs stuck in rush hour traffic, most of whom were presumably trying to get onto trains and out of the city. Darren says it’s a prime example of a profitable niche that pedicabs could fill.

“All these people you see right here are potential customers, but the cabs are full. You can’t get a cab coming this way. And then if you get in a cab, you’re sitting there,” he says. “It’s not the same as being where you want to be. You need maneuverability.”

If some of the aldermen who want to restrict Darren’s ability to do business in the Loop during rush hour and in other areas of the city succeed, however, that maneuverability is going to be seriously restricted. As we rolled up to Navy Pier, I realized just how big a change that would be for the city’s rickshaw cowboys.

“Now this is like halfway legal in a manner of speaking,” said Darren, as he tried to sneak me down the pier to the front door of WBEZ. But just as he spoke, a security guard blocked our path and turned us back around with a stern warning: “These carts are not allowed!”

Sooner or later, there will probably be no such thing as ‘halfway legal’ for the pedicabbers of Chicago — only legal and illegal. Whether the industry can thrive, or just survive, remains to be seen.

Comments Comments | Categories: Business News, Chicago, Rider Reports | Posted by: Ken Cameron




March 14, 2013

SXSW 2013: Inside Austin’s Pedicab Economy

Source:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/zackomalleygreenburg/2013/03/13/sxsw-2013-inside-austins-pedicab-economy/?utm_campaign=forbestwittersf&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social

Shortly after I arrived in Austin, Texas, for this year’s iteration of the South by Southwest, I hailed a pedicab—and took a ride on one of the more compelling business stories of the festival.

A cheerful, mustachioed man on one of the ubiquitous machines—a cross between a bicycle and a rickshaw—offered to pedal me from South Congress to the convention center for $10, and I hopped in. He was wearing a blue t-shirt emblazoned with the Oreo logo, and as he guided his vehicle across Lady Bird Lake into downtown Austin, he told me he often pulls in $60-$100 for a good hour of work during South by Southwest.

My driver was one of the 400-500 registered pedicabbies who populated the streets of Austin each year during the festival, swelling the ranks of the city’s foot-powered livery by a factor of three. These iron-calfed dynamos schlep a solid chunk of the 250,000-plus visitors to and from the various concerts and parties that make South by Southwest what it is, and they’re well-compensated for their efforts.

Pedicab drivers generally don’t own their vehicles; instead, they rent them from one of a handful of operators. Normally, the cost is only $60-$90 for a week. During South by Southwest, that number can soar as high as $870, according to one cabbie. Even so, it’s worth it: pedicab rides can cost almost as much as yellow cab trips, and the overhead of operating one is much lower. One driver I spoke with expects to clear $2,000-$3,000 during the festival’s two weeks.

The pay is so good that some pedicabbies fly in from other cities, mostly Seattle and New York, for the weeks of South by Southwest. The aforementioned Oreo-shirted cabbie puts that number at 10% or less of the total force, but still enough to be reckoned with.

Out-of-town workers are drawn not only by the promise of steady pay during the festival, but by the chances of a lucky jackpot. As legend has it, two cabbies spent a recent night pedaling six revelers around Austin—at the end of which one of the passengers removed a wad of bills from his pocket and peeled off $700 for each driver.

This year Nabisco has been offering some lucky pedicab drivers $50 an hour to pick up passengers, take them to their destinations, then announce that the trip was free, courtesy of Oreo’s parent company.

Unfortunately, my first driver wasn’t among that elite group. But he was still working a commercial angle. As I stepped out of his pedicab, he asked me if I liked healthy food, then handed me a coupon for 25% off at a nearby eatery.

If this journalism thing doesn’t work out, I think I know what I’ll be doing next March

Comments Comments | Categories: City News | Posted by: Ken Cameron




February 7, 2013

Become a pedicab driver. Now hiring! Why Movemint is better. SXSW Woot!

Driving a pedicab is a fun way to make a living or to earn extra money as a part time job.

Pedicabbing is fun!

Making money as a pedicab driver works much the same way as driving a taxi, or renting a chair in a hair salon.  Pedicab drivers are self employed and paid by their passengers.  Pedicab drivers rent equipment from a pedicab company.  After paying the pedicab company their rental fee, all money left over is the drivers to keep.

Pedicab drivers are required to know and follow the State of Texas rules of the road, City of Austin for-hire vehicle rules, Austin Police Department 6th street pedicab operation rules, work according to the pedicab community standards, follow all company rules and standards of practice for safe pedicab operation, be a positive representative of the pedicab community, treat their customers well, and charge a fair price for the services rendered.

Special skills and experiences that can be helpful, but not required, for making better tips faster include:

  • Service industry experience. (Bartender, Waiter, Waitress, Valet, hotel, etc.)
  • Moderate to high levels of physical fitness.
  • Being able to comfortably and safely ride a bicycle in busy traffic.
  • Knowledge of Downtown Austin.
  • Sassiness, Gumption, Savvy, and Fortitude
  • Good and thorough training.
  • Support from your pedicab company and fellow riders.

The City of Austin places a few requirements on pedicab drivers that must be met.  These requirements are the same as are placed on other “for-hire” drivers such as taxi, limo, and shuttle van drivers.

To become a pedicab driver you must do / have the following:

  • Must have a current and valid Texas drivers license.
  • Must provide a Certified Abstract Type AR or Certified Type 3A copy of Texas driving history. (Get it online here. $22 Type are is preferred to avoid problems.)
  • Must provide a CERTIFIED copy of Texas criminal history. (Get it here. 108 Dension Dr, Austin TX 78752 9AM to 5PM. $25)
  • Fill out City of Austin pedicab driver application (Download here: New pedicab application)

The following items and steps may be required depending on individual circumstance:

  • If you have any traffic tickets on your driving history record(s) with in the last 3 years,  you must provide proof of  completion of a Defensive Driving course.  This can be in the form of a official certificate, or as a screen shot showing you successfully completed the corse.  (Take it online or in person here. $30)
  • If you have had a “Non-Texas” drivers license within the last 3 years, you must also provide certified copies of your out-of-state driving history, and criminal history.  You will need to contact your previous state of residence to get this.  (example: Colorado Bureau of Investigation, New York D.M.V. etc.) 
  • If you are a new Texas licensee, and do not yet have your plastic drivers license card, your paper copy will not have an audit number on it.  With out this you will not be able to download your Texas driving history.  You will either want to wait until they mail you the hard copy (up to 6 weeks from date of issuance), or download and mail in the DR-1 form to get your driving history via mail.  This may take 1 to 2 weeks.      

  • Come to the pedicab shop for an interview, application review, tour and Q&A Session. (We are located here.  1710 E. Second St Austin, TX 78702 M-Th 11 AM to 4 PM or by appointment)
  • Sign a pedicab rental contract.  Sign up on the Facebook private discussion page.  We will then need to sign your application.
  • Go to the City Ground Transportation Office, turn in your documents, take a very simple knowledge test based Texas road rules, City of Austin for-hire vehicle rules, and local landmarks that a pedicab might transport passengers to.  Read this article if want to study.   
  • Pay them $20 for the license. (Located here: 1111 Rio grande Austin TX 78701. Monday to Friday 8 AM to 11 AM)
  • Schedule a training session to learn correct operation and maintenance of a pedicab, review rules of the road, and get a tour of the city. (Sessions are individually scheduled Monday to Thursday starting 4 PM to 9 PM.  Plan for session taking up to 5 hours.  Additional training may be required based on individual drivers needs.)


Why Movemint Bike Cab is a better pedicab company to work for:

  1. Movemint is a rider owned company.  Company owners, David Knipp and Ken Cameron have been making their living in the pedicab industry for more than 6 years each.  We know what it takes to be a professional pedicab driver.
  2. Movemint has a new spacious facility to comfortably house equipment and provide creature comforts to the pedicab drivers.  These comforts include, rider lounge, public bathroom and soon public computer with internet connection, kitchen, and shower.
  3. Movemint has pedicab operations in Houston Texas, and Arlington Texas.  As a Movemint rider you are able to work in these other cities at lucrative special events like Rangers Baseball Games, Dallas Cowboys Football Games, Texas Rodeo, Free Press Music Fest, etc.
  4. Movemint Bike Cab regularly travels to work special events around the nation.  Recent events have included: 2013 Presidential Inauguration, 2012 Democratic National Convention, 2012 Kentucky Derby, 2012 Texas Rodeo, 2012 Freepress Music Fest, 2011 Baseball world series, 2010 Baseball world series, 2011 NFL Superbowl, 2009 Superbowl, 2009 Presidential Inauguration, 2008 Democratic National Convention.  See pictures of our recent adventures on our Facebook page.
  5. Movemint Bike Cab has their own Machine shop where we modify, improve, upgrade, and occasionally build from scratch our own pedicabs.  The owners of Movemint have skills in Welding, machining, metal fabrication, bicycle bicycle frame building, and bicycle mechanics.  We are constantly working to  improve our pedicabs.  We push the state of the art to make our pedicabs faster, lighter, safer, more reliable,and less strenuous to operate.
  6. All of our pedicabs are American made tricycles with 26″ or 29″ wheels.  If a pedicab company you are considering working for tells you that you must provide your own mountain bike, they are going make you pull a trailer adapted to be a pedicab with your own bike.  There are several problems with trailer style pedicabs.  Trailers have smaller 20″ wheels and thus have higher, rolling resistance.  Trailers also tend to not have any additional brakes to cope the added weight of the passengers making them harder to operate safely.  Our American made trikes are significantly lighter weight than many of our competitors Chinese import trikes.  Because our bikes also have full sized 26″ or 29″ wheels and weight less, this makes driving our pedicabs far less strenuous.  This gives the rider extra energy to have a better attitude, take more rides, and complete the rides they take more quickly, thus helping the rider make more money.

It is Movemint’s belief that our pedicab drivers are charismatic professional athletes.  As such they should have the best equipment that we can reasonably provide to help them make a comfortable living.  The company owners work constantly to provide opportunities for our riders to make money.  We know that the pedicab business has seasonal fluctuations in rider income, so we work very hard to provide our riders a steady income year round.  In doing these things we try to help our drivers earn a “middle class” income to be able to take care of themselves and their families.

To become a Movemint pedicab rider, please text or phone Ken Cameron (512-584-9233 10AM to 9PM ) or David Knipp (3PM to Midnight 512-665-2454) or email us at:
newrider@austinpedicab.org





September 26, 2012

Pedicabbers must be cautious when crossing bridges

0923bikefatality.jpg

Pedicabbers often operate their vehicles late at night.  We are working frequently when there are drunks on the road.  Skilled pedicabbers know this and adjust their routes to reduce the risks they face.  Crossing bridges while driving a pedal powered contraption can be a high risk activity.  This risk can be mitigated or removed by crossing bridges on a sidewalk.  Some bridges are worse than others.  In general bridges are straight and wide, and give a driver a sense of safety.  This sense of safety tends to cause drivers to increase their speeds.   

Bridges by their design often prevent drivers from seeing smaller vehicles and bicycles that are on the other side of the bridge’s arch, making car on bike accidents more likely. 

Cyclists and pedicabbers often get rear ended by drunk drivers while on or just after bridges.  Most Austin pedicab companies have policies against crossing the congress and south first street bridges.  Doing so will often result in fines or possible termination of a pedicab rental contract.  

There is yet another example of this in the Austin news:

http://www.kxan.com/dpp/news/local/austin/kxan-Candlelight-vigil-for-biker-killed-on-Congres

img_1126.jpg

 Candlelight vigil for biker killed on Congress

Suspect is charged with intoxicated manslaughter

Updated: Monday, 24 Sep 2012, 6:05 PM CDT
Published : Sunday, 23 Sep 2012, 7:52 AM CDT

AUSTIN (KXAN) - Friends have organized a candlelight vigil for the man who was hit and killed while riding his bicycle on the Congress Avenue Bridge early Sunday morning.

Close friends said Robert Anthony Ramirez, 30, was leaving work downtown when a car hit and killed him.

Witnesses told police the bicyclist was riding in the far right lane on the Congress Avenue Bridge. A black Ford Mustang was in the center lane, and passed another vehicle to the right, putting the car that hit Ramirez in the same lane as he was. A witness told police the Ford Mustang hit the cyclist and drove away.

According to the affidavit issued Monday, the witness said he could tell that the Mustang was going to hit the cyclist judging from the high rate of speed it was traveling. The witness attempted to perform CPR on the cyclist until emergency services arrived.

According to the arrest affidavit, a person who was with 26-year-old Brian Mahy called police before 7 a.m. Sunday and said he was at the Embassy Suites with Mahy, who wanted to turn himself in as the driver of the car that hit Ramirez.

Officers were sent to pick up Mahy and noticed that he appeared unsteady on his feet and had the smell of alcohol on his breath. They examined the car, which was in the parking garage at Embassy Suites. Officers also found receipts in Mahy’s wallet from three downtown bars that were printed Saturday night.

“It is probable that Brian Mahy had been out drinking all night,” the affidavit said.

Police said that pieces of Mahy’s vehicle were found at the crash scene. The vehicle’s windshield was smashed and its rearview mirror was missing. Police found the car’s rearview mirror about 150 yards from the crash scene.

No one else was in the car when the crash occurred, Mahy told police.

Mahy was charged with intoxication manslaughter, a second-degree felony, and failure to stop and render aid, a third-degree felony. The combined bail was set at $120,000.

Friends said Ramirez was a graduate of Travis High School in Austin. He had worked in the downtown area for about nine years, most recently at the Blind Pig, friends said.

The candlelight vigil for Ramirez is set for 8 p.m. Monday on the Congress Avenue Bridge. Money raised in honor of Ramirez, also known to friends by his nickname “Chops,” will go toward funeral expenses.

south-congress-bridge.jpg

Comments Comments | Categories: Accidents, Bad Examples, Congress Bridge Accident | Posted by: Ken Cameron




August 25, 2012

Getting the greatest impact from SXSW advertising on pedicabs

Many established or soon to be established companies want to noticed during SXSW.  Enlisting pedicab companies as advertising partners can be a high impact approach to directly marketing to potential clients, or making your brand or product more visible during South By.  Targeting potential clients can give key decision makers a visceral reaction or positive associations to your product or services.  Making as many as possible of those gut reactions say “I like these guys” takes fore thought and planning, and an understanding of the SXSW environment.

How much impact a advertiser wants to make, and to some extent how much risk they are willing to take will be key in their advertising approach.  There are few questions advertisers should ask themselves in approaching their branding campaign:

  1. Who is my target audience?
  2. How does the advertising medium of pedicabs fit within the SXSW landscape?
  3. Should my message stand out from all of the informational noise omnipresent during SXSW, or should it just be part of the background?
  4. What will appeal to my target audience?

1) Target Audience:

While SXSW, Music Film, and Interactive have a great deal of overlap in general location time and venues, they target different industries.  Which industry are you targeting? Are you going after specific segments of that industry?  Do you want film moguls to learn about you independent film?  Do you want music industry talent spotters to hear your music or watch your video?  Do you want computer programmers to adopt your toolkit?  Is your target market general, a very small set of people or an individual person?

2) Pedicabs and Pedicabbers as an advertising medium during SXSW: 

SXSW is a carnival of ideas.  Reaching decision makers with your message can be difficult.  Creating an impact on them is even harder.  When designing a pedicab advertising campaign, it helps to know some back ground.

During SXSW pedicabs are everywhere.  Currently there are approximately 300 pedicabs registered to operate in Austin.  There are approximately 21 pedicab companies.  In general pedicabs will be operating as early as 9 AM to as late as 4 AM, sometimes until sunrise, depending on the driver.  The most common hours of operation will be mid day to bar closing time.

While the Austin pedicab scene prides itself on its diversity of appearance and business models, there are certain commonalities.  Austin Pedicabs will contain a seating area for passengers on which advertising can be placed.  The seating area can be made up of fiberglass, or a metal framework with panels attached.  Ads can be placed inside or the outside of the pedicab.

Pedicab companies will often contract with printers to produce large format vinyl advertisements.  Most often these adds are applied directly to the outside of the fiberglass passenger carriages.  Sometimes the ads will go on a substrate which can be attached and removed from the pedicabs.  Pedicabs can be give a “full wrap” where the marketing message covers almost the entire fiberglass surface.  Depending on the size of the cab they will cover approximately 27 square feet of the pedicab.  Smaller rectangular panel ads can be produced to cover the major visible surfaces.  These panels can cover up to 14 square feet.  Some pedicab companies will use printed banners to attach to their pedicabs.

The interior of the pedicab has marketing potential also.  The city of Austin requires specific signage to display the rate of fare, the company name and phone number, etc.  This however leaves a large amount of unused space, especially if the pedicab has a passenger grab bar to which attach signage.  It is best to use this space to directly appeal to the passenger.

Some pedicabs are equipped with built in sound systems.  Some have canopies to provide sun shade, or rain protection.  Many pedicabs are owned by individual drivers and have been customized to be more visually striking, or provide a more comfortable or entertaining passenger experience.

In general pedicab drivers are young and fit.  Because Austin is the “Texas Mecca” filled with creative, young, active and highly educated people, this is reflected in the pedicab driving community.  Approximately 20% of pedicab drivers are female, 80% male.  Approximately 75% are under the age of 30. Approximately 40% are under the age of 24.  Most pedicabbers are whip smart and have been there and done that.  Pedicab drivers are there to make a buck, after a long, cold and poor winter.  Because SXSW takes place during spring break, the student portion of the pedicab driving population will be out in full force.

When self directed, pedicab drivers will look for densely populated areas where people have seen and done enough of what was in that location and are trying to get to their next destination.  The pedicabber’s target market wants to go some where too far to comfortably walk, but is close enough for a bicycle ride.  The ideal passenger wants to get to their destination quickly and has cash in their pocket or money on their credit card.

Pedicab drivers are paid to know the area they serve.  The better they know it, the more money they will make.  They are often able to give accurate and up to date directions.  They know where to take you to get a taxi.  They probably know where the big party is happening.

It is possible to place your message on pedicabbers directly.  Passengers spend a lot of time looking at he pedicab drivers back, butt and legs.  It is fairly common for pedicab drivers to wear branded t-shirts.  This can be an effective, low cost way to brand a highly visible area.  Peddicabbing is sweaty work.  Because of this, plain low quality, light colored or white cotton t-shirts can start to look soiled quickly.  In general a new t-shirt is required for each day of use.  Higher quality t-shirts in dark colors, or black such as American Apparel , or Alternative Apparel will stay good looking longer.  However branded, cycling specific sports wear, matched to the weather, will stay good looking longest, through out SXSW, are visually striking, and can have ads placed in highly visible areas, and will likely be worn by appreciative pedicabbers well past the end of the adverting campaign.  This can include cycling jerseys, spring weather cycling tights or shorts, or even one piece suits covered in branding information.  Custom made cycling caps are also a good way for a brand to be seen at a fairly low cost.

Knowing all of the above about pedicabs and their drivers, where and how the ads can be placed, how ads are manufactured, who pedicabbers are, what their motivations are, and how they tend to work can help an advertiser better design a strategy.  It should also be known that pedicabs are in the center of the activity in densely populated pedestrian environments.  Thousands of different groups are vying for the attention of SXSW conference attendees.  The mobility of pedicabs and the images on them will tend to grab the eye more than a stationary advertisement.  Further because of the financial motivations of pedicabbers, they will tend to move an advertisers billboard, their pedicab or their body to populated areas where potential passengers are located.

When passengers are in pedicabs, they tend to be there for 5 to 10 minutes, during which time an advertising message can be constantly displayed to them.  Because pedicabbers are highly dependent on tips for the amount of money they make, they tend to be friendly and informative, and are often looking for things to talk about with their passengers.  Often passengers will ask about the ads, how they work, how the pedicabber is doing and how he or she feels about the situation.  Static ads are often designed to speak for themselves, but can be designed to evoke conversation.  Visually striking and evocative, dynamic ads worn on the pedicabber become a natural topic of conversation.  Giving the pedicabber a positive experience through comfortable apparel is a great way to start a positive conversation with the passenger about the advertiser and their message.

3) How much should my message stand out during SXSW?

As mentioned above, SXSW is a visually busy place.   Ads are everywhere.  Mobile pedicabs advertisements are naturally going to stand out more than stationary ads.  If and how much the advertiser wants to stand out is important when designing an advertising strategy.

Because large or segment established companies already have brand recognition they are more able to stay in the cognitive background.  Their message or brand may just need to be visible, reminding passerbys that they are present and therefore relevant.  This can easily be done by placing full wrap or panel ads on a large number of pedicabs.  Smaller or emerging companies that have never been heard of may want to take a more dynamic or “Gorilla” approach to their marketing.  This approach will have to be more nuanced.

While a big blanket campaign can work well if you have a large budget, pedicabs can be used in specific and targeted ways.  In these targeted campaigns it may take more insider knowledge to direct the message effectively to a specific time and place.  The message in the case of pedicabs can become “We are here to serve you.”  By directing pedicabbers to behave in a specific way  or be located in a certain place or time that does not naturally fit with in their normal methods of operation, an advertiser can say to an under-served market or client “We recognize your needs, we know how you want to be treated.”  This of course requires that the pedicabber be told where to go may have to be paid to stay there, or continue to return there.

4) What will appeal to my target audience?

Pedicab branding is easy to do, can be broad based, or narrowly focused.  Most pedicab ad campaigns consist of  printed image ads on the pedicab or the apparel of the pedicab driver.  These ads move around and draw the eye.  The mobile ads are dynamic and vibrant in a visually saturated landscape.  A pedicab driver is there, and able to answer limited questions about an advertiser, and their product or service.  For many advertisers this is ideal.  It is a low risk approach to getting the message across.  However some messages or products are very specific or nuanced and are beyond the scope or understanding of a pedicab driver to be able to accurately convey.  The product being advertised may benefit most from a different form of presentation.

During SXSW the products being pitched are often music, films, computer games, software suites, business services, etc.  Displaying these in their original format to the target audience can be challenging.  With pedicabs it is possible to create a temporary or semi-permanent display to be viewed by a person seated inside the pedicab.  Grab rails are often present at the front of the passenger compartment.  They are either welded to the frame of the pedicab or attached to just below the seat of the pedicab driver.  They are front and center to the passenger  compartment.  An iPad like display can be attached to the grab rail to display the movie, music video, etc.  This could of course be augmented by speakers easily and often already installed in pedicabs.  Most pedicabs already have a 12 volt automotive style lighting system powered by a small lead acid battery.  Depending on the power consumption of the display and speakers,a larger battery can be installed in the pedicab’s storage compartment to power the presentation for a desired length of time.

Possibilities on the theme of mobile displays with built in seating are fairly limitless.  External marque lighting, loud sound systems, smoke machines, strobe lights, bubble blowers, external projectors, pole dancers, etc can all be powered by 12 volt batteries, power transformers, or small quiet generators.  Many pedicabs have already been customized in temporary or permanent  ways.  Because they are fairly large and light weight and designed to carry a large cargo load they can easily be added to to enhance advertising impact.

Beyond enhancements to pedicabs other stratagies can be used to more directly appeal to target markets.  For example small groups of pedicabs can be employed to give free rides at a specific location and time, or to certain people that provide credentials.  If preplanned and agreed to prior to the event, private on-call services can be arranged that will automatically page a few pedicab drivers.  The first to pick up will then respond to the request for service.  This is best done on a small scale with just a limited number of users.  This can be used as a way to provide special service to a select group of friends, colleagues or clients.  Pedicabs can be hired to provide transportation to party guests.  Free pedicab rides at a party or down town event are an easy way to give one on one service that reinforces a positive view of a company or group.

About the Author:

Ken Cameron is a co-owner with David Knipp of Movemint Bike Cab.  Movemint operates pedicabs in Austin, Arlington and Houston Texas.  We have a  fleet of 25 to 50 pedicabs in Austin depending on the season and the event.  We have 10 pedicabs in Arlinton, and up to 10 in Houston.

Ken and David also operate a large-format printing company that targets the pedicab market.  We have printed campaigns for Advertises such as Google, Capital One Bank, Hansen, Vitamin Water, Perry’s Steak House, Uber, Page.ly, and Neuro.  We are some of the large format pedicab printing specialists.  We are able to take last minute print jobs for large events.

Ken also operates a small metal fabrication shop specializing in manufacture of bicycle frames, and refurbishment and enhancement of pedicabs as well as the design and manufacture of pedicab accessories.

Ken Cameron can be reached via email:

ken at austinpedicab dot org

or via phone:

(512) five eight four - nine two three three

Comments Comments | Categories: City News | Posted by: Ken Cameron




August 14, 2012

Updated Austin pedicab rules of the road

Austin pedicab rules and regulations have been updated recently.  The Austin Police Department enacted a set of rules that specify how pedicabs are to be operated in Sixth Street and the Down Town areas.  The most salient aspect to the new rules is the updated 6th street pedicab map:

Austin Texas 6th street pedicab map

The full  text of the rules can be found in the following PDF document (8 pages):

APD’s updated pedicab rules for 6th street Austin Texas

The Austin Transportation Code has also been updated.  The updates cover pedicabs, and electric jitney (golf cart) operations.  The full text of the entire ordinance is found in the .PDF below (85 pages):

Austin Texas Municipal code CHAPTER 13-2. GROUND TRANSPORTATION PASSENGER SERVICES

Those Municipal rules have been changed and updated, but as always there are Texas state laws that govern how vehicles and bicycles are to be operated.  Below are the state laws that govern the  “OPERATION AND MOVEMENT OF VEHICLES” (81 pages):

TEXAS TRANSPORTATION CODE TITLE 7. VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC SUBTITLE C. RULES OF THE ROAD CHAPTER 545. OPERATION AND MOVEMENT OF VEHICLES.

Texas also has laws that are specific to the operation of bicycles.  These laws can be found below (11 pages):

TEXAS TRANSPORTATION CODE TITLE 7. VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC SUBTITLE C. RULES OF THE ROAD CHAPTER 551. OPERATION OF BICYCLES, MOPEDS, AND PLAY VEHICLES

The State of Texas laws listed above are not the only ones that we may encounter while operating a pedicab.  The complete Texas constitutions and statutes can be found here:

http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/

As well other Austin laws may apply to the operation of pedicabs.  All the Austin municipal codes can be found here:

http://www.amlegal.com/austin_tx/

Comments Comments | Categories: City News | Posted by: Ken Cameron




October 18, 2011

City of Austin releases new draft of updated pedicab ordinance

Marcy Cardona of the Austin Transportation Department division of Public Works sent the following email message to all pedicab company owners in Austin today:

You will find attached a draft pedicab ordinance.  Please review and make available to your drivers.  If you have concerns regarding the alleged lack of safety of trailers or a possible cap on pedicabs, address those concerns either to Nathan Lipson of Metrocycle or Steve Smjastrla of Heart of Texas.  We would like to schedule a meeting with stakeholders and drivers as soon as possible - afternoon hours would be preferred.  I appreciate you getting back with me to let me know what day and time best fits your schedules.

Below is a copy of the draft ordinance attached in the email, now in .pdf format:

Austin Draft Pedicab Ordinance .pdf format

Here is the draft in the original Word format:

Austin draft pedicab in word format

Comments Comments | Categories: 13-2, City News, Technical | Posted by: Ken Cameron




August 7, 2011

Pedicab lighting from the Philippines

via yapak/yakap

Kerosene in a bottle.

Fiber wick and wick holder.

Modified tin can as wind guard / reflector.

Simple, brilliant, cheap, effective, and culturally appropriate.

Pinoy pedicab light

Comments Comments | Categories: City News | Posted by: Ken Cameron




July 21, 2011

Leana is the star of the Startup Bus pedicab show! SXSW

Thanks CNN.

CNN: Startups pitch on pedicab

Comments Comments | Categories: SXSW | Posted by: Ken Cameron




April 28, 2011

Push to regulate Seattle’s pedicab business - Insurance & Rules

It looks like the folks at Boston Pedicab have set up a new shop in Seattle.  Now that they are there, they want the city to regulate pedicabs and of course have all the old pedicab operators to get insurance and comply to new standards they are not used to.  While it is appropriate for the pedicabs to be regulated by a city, and to have insurance to protect their customers, it is easy to see how the Seattle old timers would be irate that the new kids on the block are trying to force additional ongoing expenses upon them.  Every time a city regulates pedicabs, especially when they have been quietly operating for years, there will be an established group that will resist the changes and won’t know how to deal with the new rules and regulations forced upon them.  Witness Houston and New York City.

If a quick Google search is performed for “PEDICAB INSURANCE“,  four insurance companies that will insure pedicabs can be found:

 http://www.isuwestlake.com/insurance-pedicab/index.html

 http://www.pedicabinsurance.com/

http://www.lkalmanson.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=9&Itemid=12

http://massinsurers.com/pages/pedicab-insurance.html

 There may be more than these.  If you are a trying to get an insurance policy for your pedicab company, get quotes from as many companies as you can and learn what exactly the policy covers.  One good practice is to contact the transportation authority in your city and ask for the names of the insurance companies currently in use for pedicabs.  If your city does not have any on file, contact other transportation departments of cities in your state where pedicabs are operated and ask for the names of the insurance companies used by pedicab companies in that city.

Source:

Push to regulate Seattle’s pedicab business

Video:

http://www.kgw.com/news/local/120869749.html

 

by CHRIS DANIELS / KING 5 News

Posted on April 28, 2011 at 9:06 AM

SEATTLE — After a deadly pedicab accident in 2008, there were calls for immediate changes to regulation to make them safer. But still nothing has happened.

Brad Drago is a Seattle pedicab driver.

“I’m my own boss, make my own hours, good money,” he said.

So does Dan DeCordova, who’d like to see some safety and training regulation in his business.

“We’re being forced to operate in a gray area, and screaming to come out into the light,” Dan said.

These and other drivers have been pushing for uniform rules since the deadly accident at Western and Cedar in 2008 that was caused by bad brakes. But to this point almost two and a half years later, nothing has really changed.

Fred Podesta, Seattle’s Director of Finance and Administrative Services, says the issue is complex.

“Day in, day out, there aren’t a lot of problems,” said Podesta. “We’re still looking at what is the problem we’re trying to solve, and what would the solutions look like, and how do you pay for that.”

One hang up is whether the city should force drivers to have insurance. That’s a clause backed by a Boston-based pedicab company, which just opened a branch in Seattle.

“There is not that much insurance out there for us,” said DeCordova. He also worries extra fees of any sort could bring business to a halt.

Right now, Seattle only requires pedicab drivers to carry a business license. Not even a safety inspection is required.

Comments Comments | Categories: Accidents, Business News, Out of Town news, Seattle Accident | Posted by: Ken Cameron




April 27, 2011

Fayetteville loosens pedicab rules

Source:

Pedicab ordinances approved

By Todd Gill

The Fayetteville City Council voted on Tuesday to allow pedicabs on sections of city trails between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. and on certain roads with a speed limit of 35 mph or greater.

The changes were part of a proposal by Ward 2 Alderman Matthew Petty who received requests from pedicab company owners who sought to extend their services to downtown residents and to game-day crowds on Razorback Road.

Until now, pedicabs have been restricted to a roughly four-square-mile area of downtown/Dickson and to roads with a speed limit less than 35 mph.

Safety issues were a concern for residents who spoke out against the ordinance changes, but Fayetteville Pedicab Co. owner Jason Sexton reiterated his opinion that the slow-moving pedicabs are anything but dangerous.

“We’re talking about an extremely safe bicycle being able to operate on a bike trail,” said Sexton. “I can find no incident of a pedicab being involved in any kind of an accident on any bike trail anywhere.”

Ward 2 Alderman Mark Kinion agreed and said he had also been researching the safety of pedicabs.

“There is not anything I could find showing that there are pedestrians being run down by pedicabs,” said Kinion. “There’s actually a great deal of information on the overall safety and responsibility in association with pedicabs, even in high density areas.”

The ordinance was approved unanimously.

Ads on pedicabs

Mayor Lioneld Jordan cast the tie-breaking vote to approve an exemption to the city’s sign ordinance which will allow small advertisements on the backs of pedicabs operating in the downtown/Dickson area.

Until now, city law stated that the only vehicles allowed to display offsite advertisements (ads for other businesses) are motorized taxicabs and buses.

Four aldermen were not at all in favor of adding another exemption to the law. Alderwomen Adella Gray, Brenda Thiel, Rhonda Adams and Sarah Lewis all said they believed that exemptions jeopardize the sign ordinance which contributes to the overall beauty of Fayetteville by not allowing unattractive signs and billboards inside the city limits.

“It makes me very concerned with the direction that this is going,” said Ward 4 Alderwoman Sarah Lewis, who recently sponsored an ordinance (which did not pass) to revoke advertising on motorized taxicabs. “It’s frustrating for me to watch this community chisel away at something that’s really cool about Fayetteville.”

Aldermen Mark Kinion, Matthew Petty, Bobby Ferrell, and Justin Tennant were all in favor of allowing the exemption.

“I respect our sign ordinance tremendously,” said Ward 3 Alderman Justin Tennant. “To me, I don’t see a huge harm—in the entertainment district—by having a small sign on what is really a pretty small structure.”

With four votes in favor and for against, Mayor Jordan broke the tie by voting to allow pedicabs to display ads.

“I don’t think five pedicabs is going to make a whole lot of difference,” said Jordan.

A recap

Pedicabs Can

  • Pedicabs may operate on Scull Creek Trail, Frisco Trail, Mud Creek Trail and other transportation trails between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
  • Drivers may place 2-foot-by-3-foot advertisements on the backs of the pedicabs operating in the downtown/Dickson area

Pedicabs Cannot

  • Pedicabs may not operate on any section of trail deemed “too narrow” by the Parks & Recreation director or on any park trails such as Lake Fayetteville, Wilson Park, Gulley Park, etc.
  • No advertisements will be allow on pedicabs operating on city trails

A word from Alderman Petty

We asked Mr. Petty what his thoughts were now that his ordinances have passed. Here are his comments:

While it was my goal to pass the most liberal pedicab ordinances possible, I am proud of the consensus we were able to establish among the Council for expanding the areas pedicabs are allowed to serve in Fayetteville. This is a step in the right direction for making alternative transportation more accepted in Fayetteville. After time has passed and the people of Fayetteville have seen how safe and beneficial pedicabs are, I will ask the Council again to give pedicabs greater opportunity to serve our citizens.

I especially want to thank Alderwoman Rhonda Adams. The restrictions* she asked for in the beginning of this discussion were, in my opinion, too much, but we were able to come to a compromise which led to a unanimous decision by the Council. I deeply appreciate Rhonda’s courteous consideration and professionalism.

Comments Comments | Categories: Business News, Out of Town news | Posted by: Ken Cameron