Pedicab coming to Detroit

If all goes as planned, downtown Detroit residents and visitors will have a new means of getting around the city in the coming months: by pedicab.

According to this article in yesterday’s online edition of the Detroit Free Press, lifelong-Detroiter Michael Rosemond is preparing to start the city’s first-ever pedicab service.

He plans to be up and running – or should I say riding – in a few months. The cost for passengers in Rosemond’s two-seat pedicab, also known as a cycle rickshaw, will be $1 per block.

13 Comments so far

  1. Tom (unregistered) on August 25th, 2006 @ 8:12 am

    Is this guy serious?? He’s going to have one hell of a time for the 6 months out of the year that it is freezing cold here and there is snow on the ground.

  2. (unregistered) on August 25th, 2006 @ 8:26 am

    I second that… have fun in the winter!

    From the Freep article, “And he and his 23-year-old son will carry passengers well into the winter months.”

  3. Mark Sherman (unregistered) on August 25th, 2006 @ 9:17 am

    Do we really need to see rich people being carried around by poor people? What’s next, maybe those divan chairs used in ancient Egypt for carrying around a pharoah?

  4. Tom (unregistered) on August 25th, 2006 @ 9:25 am

    This reminds me of that Seinfeld episode where Kramer got a rickshaw and wanted to start a business carrying people around on his rickshaw.

  5. Mollika* (unregistered) on August 25th, 2006 @ 10:30 am

    Rich people are already driven around by poor people, served by poor people, and attended to by poor people. It is called the service industry. I think it is great that this individual can see the need for frivolity and is attempting to make a living for himself and his family.

  6. Atul (unregistered) on August 25th, 2006 @ 1:42 pm

    There’s something inherently wrong with replacing horses with humans to get something done.

  7. Mollika* (unregistered) on August 25th, 2006 @ 3:00 pm

    The horse was controlled by a human, and now the bike is controlled by the human. At least a poor beast is not being subject to forced labour. The human riding the bicycle is doing so by choice.

  8. Bill Schenker (unregistered) on August 25th, 2006 @ 8:59 pm

    I think it’s great! I think if people have plenty of money, they should have others sweat and cower and do their bidding. Money is power, and these poor suckers wil just have to be servants.

  9. Tom (unregistered) on August 26th, 2006 @ 1:41 pm

    Hey, whatever. This isn’t about class domination or power politics. It’s about a guy who wants to run a business. More power to him, I hope he makes money and doesn’t get frostbite in the winter months.

  10. Atul (unregistered) on August 26th, 2006 @ 8:39 pm

    I agree that at least the person is doing it using her/his own free will and I don’t like when animals are used in such a way either. That goes along with why I’m a vegetarian. Animals are not here just for humans to exploit.

    I bicycle for exercise too, but having somebody do hard labor for you to get you around just seems wrong (to me). Maybe they could use electric powered bicycles for the occasional power boost!

  11. Kevin (unregistered) on August 27th, 2006 @ 5:57 am

    The main problem I find with this pedi-cab business is the overall negative influence which promotes it in the first place… namely, that the customers want to pay money so that many other people can see them being carted around town like a king/queen.

    It is clearly not the most time efficient or cost effective way to be transported – so what is the allure? The cachet of “seemingly” exploiting another human being into doing what in many third-world countries is normal donkey work.

    Sure, the people running this business may be working hard, but they’re operating an “Exploitation Theme Ride”

    If someone said: “For $500 you can have exclusive use of a fully recreated slave plantation” – sure, the people operating the theme plantation are doing it of their free-will and profit, but their profits are from recreating exploitive situations.

    It’s like the shoe-shine guy who sits his customers high up on a “throne-like” chair for everyone to see – giving that customer a virtual sense of importance.

  12. SD (unregistered) on August 27th, 2006 @ 1:57 pm

    Its the free market economy.

    If people want to pay to ride around and look cool, let them. It supports the economy, and its fun.

  13. Mollika* (unregistered) on August 27th, 2006 @ 5:08 pm

    Living downtown has the perk of being able to walk to venues. At the beginning of the night, walking to the club a few blocks away seems like a really great idea. After dancing all night in 4 inch heels and not being able to find a cab because all 10 in the city are being used, I would get into that pedi-cab for the very practical reason of getting home and not because I want to be put on a throne. Please, if I wanted to be on a throne I would get into the horse and carriage that does its rounds on the weekends, not into some yellow bicycle contraption or a shoe-shine chair.

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