Uncategorized pedicab

Published on December 4th, 2008 | by Shirley Siluk Gregory


Pensacola Goes Pedicabbing

Jim.henderson at Wikimedia Commons, public domain)Pensacola’s not a big city, population-wise, but it’s spread out over a large area that’s more car- than pedestrian-friendly. So it’s nice to see that visitors now have a more eco-friendly option for exploring the historic “City of Five Flags”: pedicabs.

The Pensacola News-Journal reports this week that the city welcomed its first pedal-powered taxi service this fall with the launch of Foot Taxi. The business offers eight pedicabs in a service area that encompasses most of the old downtown area, including many of the city’s popular nightspots and restaurants.

Co-founder Joe Abston told the News-Journal he was inspired by seeing the success of pedicabs in similarly scaled historic destinations like Key West and Charleston, South Carolina. The fact that his business could be eco-friendly was an added plus, he said.

“It’s a completely ‘green’ way to get around,” he told the newspaper. “The last thing we wanted our business to do was add to a global environmental problem.”

You gotta like that attitude, along with Foot Taxi’s pricing policy: there is none. Drivers work for tips only, so customers pay what they think is appropriate (fortunately, no customer yet has left a driver completely empty-handed).

Abston and co-founder Melissa Beacham say their service has provided hundreds of rides since going into operation. The business has even picked up some regulars, like Michael Feely, manager of a downtown restaurant. He told the News-Journal, “After we’ve been running around all night, we want to be pampered. We probably use (Foot Taxi) about five or six times a week, and it’s a fun little experience.”

You can read the full News-Journal article here.

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About the Author

Shirley Siluk Gregory, a transplanted Chicagoan now living in Northwest Florida, represents the progressive half of Green Options' Red, Green and Blue segment. She holds a bachelor's degree in Geological Sciences from Northwestern University but graduated in 1984, just when the market for geologists was flatter than the Florida landscape. Just as well, though: she had little interest in spending her life either in a laboratory or, heaven forbid, an oil field. So, of course, she went into journalism. After extremely low-paying but fun and educational stints at several suburban Chicago weeklies and dailies, Shirley and her then-boyfriend/now-husband Scott found themselves displaced by a media buyout and spending the next several years working as freelancers. Among their credits: The Chicago Tribune, a publication for the manufactured-housing industry, and Web Hosting Magazine, a now-defunct publication that came and went with the dotcom era. Shirley's always been concerned about nature and conservation (and an avid pack-rat, as her family can attest to), but became even more rabidly interested in the environment primarily due to two factors: the growing signs that global warming was real and threatening, and the birth of her son, Noah, in 2003. Suddenly, the prospect of a world that might not be quite as habitable in 40 or 50 years took on a whole new, and personal, meaning. Living where she lives now also helped light the fire of Shirley's environmental awareness: her hometown was severely damaged by Hurricane Ivan in 2004, and beaten up again by Hurricane Dennis in 2005. That, and the fact that she and her family were vacationing in New Orleans until the day before Katrina -- and spent 12 hours driving home for a trip that normally takes 3 -- has made Shirley deeply appreciate how fragile our lifestyles are, and how dependent they are on sound management of natural resources and sustainable living practices. That's why she's become a passionate reader and writer about all things green and sustainable.

4 Responses to Pensacola Goes Pedicabbing

  1. Oh, fun! Downtown Orlando has a lot of pedicabs, too! My sister’s boyfriend used to work for a company that services that area. Not only are they greener, they’re way more fun than a boring old yellow cab.

    The no-charge aspect is a cool twist!

  2. Pingback: Philadelphia Pedicabs Seek Push from Constituents : EcoLocalizer

  3. Marlene Garay says:

    I am a long distance cyclist. Cycling is my hobby. I would love to join the pedi-cab group. Can someone direct me as to whom I should contact? Thank you.

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