Pedal-powered taxis hit Toronto
EcoCabs are coming to Toronto.
A day after the Earth Day rally at Yonge-Dundas Square, a series of cute, environmentally friendly three-wheeled vehicles touched down there for the first time.
The EcoCab runs primarily on a trained driver's pedal-power, but is supported by a rechargeable electric battery. So it can reach speeds of up to 12 km per hour on city streets.
GO Mobile Media president Will Kozma was on hand to help launch the vehicles today. He said that the EcoCabs will help Toronto residents and tourists by offering free rides during summer street festivals and special events.
"Each vehicle costs about $13,000," says Kozma, who says the cabs are supported by corporate advertising.
"Lipton has signed a five-month contract with GO Mobile Media, and will offer a free Lipton green tea drink for passengers when it hits the city's downtown streets starting May 1."
There are 28 EcoCabs in the fleet, which will offer residents and tourists short-distance, emission-free transportation between office buildings, transit stations, shopping areas, restaurants and entertainment attractions.
With headlights, rear lights, side-mirrors and an enclosed shell, the vehicles exceed road safety standards. They will ride in the right-most lane and in bike lanes, where the average speed of traffic is 6 km per hour, said Kozma.
I took a brief ride in an EcoCab, which can accommodate two adult passengers comfortably, and was impressed with its smooth ride and quick acceleration.
It's about time Toronto caught up with major European cities and New York, where they are easily able to navigate through congested city streets. Look for this program to come to Vancouver and Montreal next.