Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Pedicabs Are Coming To Downtown

I spent this evening with an interesting group of young people. I was allowed to attend the orientation meeting of potential pedicab drivers for Sprocket Jockeys. I want to thank Lauren and James for allowing me to see their enthusiasm for what I think is a wonderful new service for downtown Lexington. It makes me wish that I was 30 years younger so that I could drive one of those things.

First off Lauren Pfannerstill, a promotions person for a local liquor outlet, and James Gonyer, who if I heard correctly, works in a local bike shop have come together to bring Lexington its first pedicab service. Both are avid cyclists and but even so they could not drive all the time, so they let it be known, they need for drivers. My oldest son expressed interest in doing so and I was just interested in seeing what it took.

They seem to be modeling this as a cross between a taxi and the horse drawn carriage rides through downtown. Each of the drivers will be an independent contractor, leasing out the pedicabs to cover shifts and are able to pick their clientele/service area. Some may serve the downtown area alone or they may wish to go between the various concentrations of activity(downtown/Distillery District, downtown/campus, campus/Chevy Chase, ...). They have even lined up some specialized promotions at set locations and will be a visible feature at UK football games.

The drivers will be fully licensed and well versed on the Lexington bicycle ordinances. Charges for the service are not set and each driver may charge as they see fit. There will be NO dispatching center, so each driver will have to coordinate with the others to get things to go smoothly. So far, Lauren and James have found that most people do tip well for this novelty.

Their projected initial hours will be Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, starting at 6 and continuing until 4:00 am. This should take care of the early "dinner/date" crowd and the later "bar-hopping" crowd. The pedicabs do come with lights (front and back), turn signals and electric assist for that extra "umph" to get up those longer hills. My one caution on this is for the safety of the drivers in carrying substantial amounts of cash at that time in the morning. These independent contractors should not put themselves unduly at risk.

From the number of potential drivers at tonight's gathering and the interest displayed, these folks will have to add more pedicabs to the two currently in the stable. Most of them appeared to be post college age although some may be in their last years at school.

I am optimistic that this will work and can't wait to see the downtown public's reaction. Lauren, James, Here is wishing you well.

3 comments:

Tom said...

Good post, Streetsweeper. I wish them well, too.

James G said...

Thank you for coming out Peter, I'm glad you enjoyed meeting everyone interested. We'll definitely be keeping your article in our scrapbook!

~James G.
Sprocket Jockeys Pedicabs, LLC

James G said...

Thank you for coming out Peter, I'm glad you enjoyed meeting everyone interested. We'll definitely be keeping your article in our scrapbook!

~James G.
Sprocket Jockeys Pedicabs, LLC