Pedal-powered taxis roll down Castro
The latest form of transit in downtown Mountain View may be low-tech, but it also seems a perfect fit for these modern times, being easy on both the environment and the pocketbook.
A company calling itself KwickCart has started operating two pedal-powered taxis, or pedicabs, around the downtown area on weekend evenings, taking people to and from their homes, businesses and the downtown train station. Passengers pay nothing but a tip, which drivers solely rely on for their wages.
The company makes its money by displaying advertising on each of its three-wheeled cabs, which can hold two passengers — three if they're small.
Last weekend, KwickCart began a weekly service between 7 p.m. and 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights in which two pedicabs operate downtown simultaneously. Before launching the regular service, the company tested the waters during the city's Art and Wine Festival and Thursday Night Live events held downtown last year.
So far it is hard to tell how much demand there is, but founder and president Caanan Meagher said that "We expect Mountain View will be one of our busiest cities." The company already operates pedicabs in Campbell and Los Gatos.
"The most common thing so far is people want a ride to or from their house," Meagher said. "People that live maybe five blocks away — maybe they live on Calderon and want a ride to Castro — call us up to get a ride."
Meagher said his "environmentally friendly" business is trying to become certified by the county as a green business. There isn't much room to improve in this regard, but he said "We need to make sure we're printing on both sides of our paper."
To arrange a ride in a KwickCart pedicab, call (408) 858-2278. The company has a Web site at www.kwickcart.com, as well as a Facebook page.