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Pedicabs in San Diego

June 2015
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I was surprised to see a familiar vehicle going around San Diego as I took a walk around the Gaslamp District. I had to do a double take as I saw three-wheeled non-motorised transport (NMT) along a busy road. Many were brightly decorated or sported  lights that made them noticeable among the vehicles on the streets when it got dark. Many drivers were also dressed to attract passengers. Many wore helmets or some head gear (hats or caps for others). Motorists seem to be well-adjusted to these pedicabs running along San Diego roads but then traffic in the CBD appears to be lighter compared to downtown Los Angeles or San Francisco.

IMG10990-20150504-1908Bicycles and cycling are very popular in San Diego so pedicabs seem to be a natural extension of that

IMG10991-20150504-1908Three-wheeler with a smiley

IMG10992-20150504-1909Pedicabs could carry 2 to 4 passengers depending on their seating configuration

IMG10993-20150504-1912A pedicab decked with rope lights is followed by one with well-dressed passengers. The pedicabs were quite popular with delegates/participants of the INTA conference held at the San Diego Convention Center.

IMG11074-20150506-1227I like this photo I took of a pedicab ferrying a passenger to the historic Sta. Fe train station. A San Diego trolley is also in the photo. The image shows the complementation among transport modes.

The pedicabs in San Diego are basically for tourism and not necessarily for commuting. They do, however, agree to carry people who would rather ride the pedicab than take a taxi or walk to their destinations. You just have to negotiate a fair price for the ride. The good thing with the pedicabs in San Diego is that their operations there provide a good example, a proof of concept if I may state, of how motorised and non-motorised options can co-exist. These options for travel include the rail-based trolley and provide people with a plethora of options for sustainable mobility. I think this should work in medium sized, highly urbanised Philippine cities as well.


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