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Pedicabs Pedal Into NewBo

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28)  Pedicabs are alternative transportation from Singapore to South Beach and in the next few weeks theyre riding back into the corridor.  Orbit Pedicab plans to bring its bike powered carriages to downtown Cedar Rapids and surrounding areas just in time for summer.

Operator Andrew Visser says the fleet of ten cabs will be great for those who dont want to be stuck in one venue for the night, Maybe theyre going to start at the amphitheater for an Uptown Friday Night and then move downtown or over to Parlor City for live music or to the Ale House.  Its a great alternative mode of transportation and a great way for people to kind of connect.

Visser says $5 plus tip will buy you a ride in between any two of several locations including NewBo, The Czech Village, the downtown and eventually Kingston Village.  The city has given the Pedicab plan its blessings as part of innovative ways to increase traffic in the downtown and along a walkable Third Street corridor.

 This isnt the first time for a pedicab service in the area.  Vik Patel and his sister Veena saw the natural taxis in Austin, Texas and thought they would translate well to the University of Iowa where they attended school.

For several years they ran Ecocabs.  Vik says the job was a real workout, but he believes his drivers made at least as much as waiters in a good restaurant. He says they met some interesting people on the 11:00pm to 3:00am shifts, but also people who loved the alternative to a speedy taxi ride, A lot of people would say it was romantic.  Its much more of an enjoyable experience because youre enjoying the area around you, youre connecting with your driver, its more visceral.

In Cedar Rapids the new pedicabs should start hitting the streets by late May, with the entire fleet of ten on the roads in the downtown and surrounding areas by mid June.  
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