Wednesday, May 9, 2007

A question of competition

While reading this article about Greenway Pedicabs in the USA it occurred to me there is a serious flaw in the argument made by taxi cab drivers in the USA about pedicabs steeling their business.
The author of the article describes his first experience of riding in a pedicab and reflects on whether they can be considered a serious transport option. He found the pedicab to be a little slow and thought it was a nice alternative to walking but not a great option if you were in a hurry.
Fair enough comment I suppose.
Then it dawned on me, I'm a bit slow, the reason cab drivers are worried about the competition from pedicabs must be that traffic is so congested in places like NYC that there is no speed advantage to being in a car!
Now that would be a problem. All those cars spewing carbon monoxide and they're just sitting there while pedicabs glide in and pick up pedestrians offering them the opportunity to actually move through the town rather than sitting in a cab with the meter running.

The following article in the Deccan Herald about a rickshaw bank in India that is attempting to raise the standard of living of rickshaw pullers by providing them with cheep rickshaws that can be payed off over time after which they would be owned outright by the men who pull them allowing them to earn a more substantial living than they would otherwise.
Asom rickshaws to help meet UN Millennium Goals

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