Monday, June 18, 2007

Crime fighting Pedicab riders from the UK

Ben, Will and, I presume their new friends
~These guys sense of civic purpose can even be extended to Law Enforcement~

I've been getting Google alerts relating to this story all week and haven't bothered to post but these guys are becoming quite famous and I don't want to miss out on carrying the top Pedicab story of the month.
According to a multitude of recycled articles and somewhere way back into my dim recollections of last week, the original report, a couple of Police officers commandeered a Pedicab and driver to apprehend a naughty guy who was breaching his bail conditions.
According to one report (the last page left in my browser tabs after I'd closed about 15 on the same story!) HERE
"The officers hopped into a pedicab (a two-seat tricycle powered by a cyclist) and pressed driver Ben Matthews into action. Fellow pedicab driver Will Vaughan spotted Matthews as he crossed Castle Green, a park in the center of town, and pedaled over to help."

Well it turns out the guys are actually quite worthy of my attention?! (I still don't know why I didn't post this story when I first read it!) They even have a blog dedicated to their environmentally friendly efforts and it is called:
Mules for the Masses
Which they describe as: Fun Green and Honest - A unique endeavour into sustainable environmentally friendly travel

It is a great blog and definitely fits the bill for my unrealized objectives. Good on you fellas, I hope this good publicity holds you in good stead with your local council and you are not legislated out of existence like so many other Pedicab drivers these days! Maybe your high public profile might be useful in carrying your own special message?

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Rickshaw Pullers documentary

I recently came across the blog Jan Madhyam Productions which appears to be the outlet for a group of committed documentary makers from India who are based in New Delhi. There is a documentary film called, Unheard Voices: The Rickshaw Pullers of Mussoori

The organization has a very interesting profile and appear to be producing documentary films that challenge the liberties taken by the rich and powerful, for those of us who live in developed countries who enjoy the privileged life of exes I think that means us too!

All I know about the documentary is what I read on the blog but it looks like it questions deeply, the moral conundrum of low paid manual labor which so obviously places one person above another.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Rickshaws to the rescue

A couple of interesting stories today.
One from the UK where the police find a new use for the humble Rickshaw as an aid to law enforcement, the other a continuation on the story of the Rickshaw expulsion from Chadni Chowk.

Police use rickshaw to get to crime scene

Chandni Chowk moves on, sans the rickshaws

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Sad news for common sense

Two of the articles I came across this week really stood out.
One in India the other in the United states but both concerning the persecution of Pedicab and Rickshaw riders by shortsighted regulatory bodies.

Free Transportation Service Shut Down by Government (National Center for Public Research, U.S.A)

End of rickshaw era in Chandini Chowk (IBN Live)

There's also a video attached to the story on IBN Live (Click Here)

It seems that both situations are examples of a lack of foresight by transport officials! The Chandini Chowk story is an obvious attack on RickshawWalahs the officials there claiming that by removing rickshaws they will reduce congestion and reduce noise pollution! - I doubt it! What about all the Walahs who will now be out of work.
The case in Santa Barbara is just an example of how high insurance costs and an increasing regulations have stifled these peoples attempt to improve the quality of life in their city. Another enlightened transport opportunity canned because it doesn't fit the local beuraucratic model