Carlos Lastres is a Miami native with one of the neatest jobs Downtown. His recently launched enterprise, Go Green Pedicabs, brings to Miami a service that is increasingly prevalent in hip cities around the world. The pedicab, a tricycle carriage way more posh than your hackneyed rickshaw, can take Downtown commuters around their commercial district in human-propelled style. Tackling the confined radius of the Bayfront and Downtown domain, Go Green Pedicab brings an environmentally conscious treat to the Bayside tourists and urban office building jockeys.
The trick is locality. Go Green eases the burdens on taxi drivers who are losing money on commuters taking quick trips. According to Lastres, the taxi drivers have welcomed this alternative transit service with encouragement.
“I’ve gotten great support,” Lastres says. “The taxi driver’s business is to drive long distances. His business isn’t for him to have someone jump in the car and drive two blocks. These guys who have to move their cars three blocks down have just lost their spot where they had the ability to take someone to the beach or airport. And we’re not charging.”
Yeah, for real -- you can ride the pedicab for free.
“Charging a fee is stepping on the shoes of transportation,” he explains.
Go Green Pedicab offers a free service, from quick hops around Downtown after power lunches to a leisurely trip around the area, asking humbly for tips only. That plus the fuel economy behind gasless transit means insanely cheap and eco-tastic alternatives to getting around the Downtown circuit.
“There’s no better time than now,” he insists. “Gas prices are soaring; people are using the Metrorail system more often. People are obviously feeling their pockets and taking alternate transportations. That’s where we come in- just making people aware there’s alternate transportation. There are only so many buses the city can provide.”
Pedicabs, however, are at a premium. Their hub is at Bayfront Park, on Tina Hill, but passengers can schedule a Downtown pickup at their website www.gogreenpedis.com.
Seeing as to how green is finally in style, hot rides like the pedicabs are another achievement for Miami’s increasing coolness. This has been a good season for environmentally lovable forms of advocacy, like encouraging people to get on bicycles for a change.
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“That’s the biggest thing,” Lastres says. “Make people aware.”
You can get aware by hitching a pedi-ride.
- Adam Schachner