Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Cascadia Cabs - Pedicabs

Reminding me of being transported by pousse pousse when I lived in Antananarivo, Madagascar, Bellingham now has Cascadia Cabs offering pedicab rides throughout town.Bellingham-based company Cascadia Cabs operates four pedicabs — taxis comprised of a tricycle and chariot. Drivers set their own rates, and generally ask passengers to pay what they feel the ride is worth.Thursday through Saturday from about 10 p.m. to 2:15 a.m. The cabs are also occasionally out on Wednesdays and Sundays.
Drivers have taken customers as far as Bellis Fair mall, Fairhaven and Alabama Hill, but generally stick to the downtown area.
Cascadia Cabs was founded to continue the legacy of pedicabs in the Pacific Northwest. Pedicabs have operated continuously in the Evergreen Pacific since the 1962 World's Fair. Lovally, they are continuing on the tradition of bring fun, safe, envitonmental, and enjoyable transportation throughout the Evergreen Pacific. They provide a living wage work opportunites for youth and help change the urban streetscape with our various chariots.

Cascadia Cabs provides pedicab service for the Pacific Northwest. They are based in Bellingham and provide pedicab cruises for Bellingham's nightlife scene. Our pedicabs provide advertising for hopefully local business. When the weather improves, we roll during weekends and events. As well, we delight in making our pedicabs into "Wedding Chariots." Cascadia Cabs also provides pedicab service in Seattle. Our fleet has recently expanded to make way for 'Petals on Pedals,' our flower delivery business and 'The Icicle Tricycle,' during the summertime.


You can hail a pedicab in person or call (360) 800- TRIKE for service.


The following is an excerpt from an article in the Bellingham Business Journal,

Pedicabs Set to Roll
Unlike Mad Dash Courier, Ryan Hashagen delivers people instead of mail. And if you haven’t yet seen a pedicab rolling around town, you’re sure to see one soon.

Hashagen, co-owner of Cascadia Cabs and a recent Western Washington University graduate, began pedaling around Bellingham last summer offering his services to “anyone interested in having a good time,” he said.

As the summer sunshine faded into winter snows, Hashagen put away his pedicab and began planning this year’s launch, set for March 1. This year the company has five pedicabs and 12 drivers in Bellingham who will work in shifts patrolling the streets for customers.

“Each bike goes out twice a day: daytime shift and nighttime shift,” Hashagen said. “That’s how it works in all the cities that we operate in. In Bellingham we’re going to emphasize the nightlife scene and really hope to provide a safe transportation alternative for the entertainment district.”

The pedicab fleet will serve mainly the downtown core, from the south end of State Street to Roeder Avenue to the Lettered Streets, but will also make the occasional trip up to Meridian Street and Northwest Avenue. “Anywhere that’s flat,” Hashagen said.

The company operates much like a regular cab company. They rent the pedicabs to individual drivers who must each have their own business license. At the end of the night, it is up to each driver to turn a profit or face a loss.

“The great thing about pedicabbing, unlike bike messengering, is that in bike messengering you’ve always got someone telling you where to be and what to do,” said Hashagen, who was a bike messenger in Seattle in high school. “On a pedicab, it’s entirely up to you to make your own money, which is why it’s such a great job for young college students because it teaches them how to be entrepreneurs. They need to be able to motivate themselves, and if they don’t, they don’t make money. The more fun they have, the more money they make and the happier they are, the more people will hop in their cab.”

Before pedicab drivers hit the road, however, each driver is given a full day of training on how to safely operate the cab, deal with traffic, and work with customers.

Operating a pedicab is much different from riding a bike, Hashagen said. First, a pedicab is technically a tricycle and thus wider. It is also longer and capable of carrying more weight, up to 800 pounds, which includes the driver and up to four passengers. Pulling that much weight around is certainly tiring: “They don’t call it work for no reason.”

Alongside the new fleet of pedicabs, Hashagen also unveiled a pedal-powered flower cart just in time for Valentines Day. Beyond holidays, Hashagen said he is in the process of setting up weekly flower deliveries for local offices and beauty salons.

Eventually, Hashagen said, he hopes the presence of pedicabs on the streets will inspire other business folk to consider alternative forms of transportation.

“I would like to see bicycles and tricycles used for commercial applications all throughout the Pacific Northwest.”

(All photos were found on the Internet.)

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