Ever seen those pedal-powered rickshaws in Asia and wondered what it would be like to ride in one? Well, don’t update your passport — you will soon have the chance to grab one in Oxford.
Oxford aldermen have amended the city’s taxi cab ordinance to allow pedicabs, also known as cycle rickshaws, which transport passengers in a carriage-styled seat hooked to a bicycle.
The pedicabs may only travel on streets with designated bike lanes that have a 35 mph speed limit.
The soonest pedicabs can hit the streets is Dec. 19, after a customary 30-day wait.
Two companies — Rebel Pedal and Rebel Rickshaw — propose to shuttle people between downtown and the University of Mississippi campus as well as offering downtown and perhaps campus tours.
Drivers will have to pass background checks like taxi drivers but are only required to have a Class R license which is just a regular driving license.
Pedicab companies would be required to apply for a permit and carry a commercial general liability insurance policy in the amount of at least $1 million per occurrence and a $2 million annual aggregate, which is a much more coverage than vehicle taxis are required to carry. Taxis are required to have insurance of $100,000 for the death or injury to any one person, $300,000 total public liability for any one accident and $100,000 for property damage.
Pedicabs will be required to have a seat belt for each passenger, a lamp on the front that illuminates at least 50 feet to the front and a red reflector on the rear; a braking system; a mirror and turn signals. It will be unlawful to operate a pedicab that is wider than 54-inches at its widest point and longer than 10 feet.
According to the ordinance, pedicabs will be required to adhere to the same fee maximums as regular taxis, which are $10 maximum for one person inside the city limits and $2.50 maximum per additional person.
Randall Roberson with Rebel Rickshaw said his rates would be well under the maximum rates.
“It’s probably going to be about $3 to $5 per head,” he said.