Austin pedicab fares
What gets you to Fun Fun Fun Fest, and doesn’t need gas, a parking spot or much effort on your part? Pedicabs.
A unique form of transportation found in downtown Austin, these cabs are pedal-operated vehicles that look like bicycles attached to seats. They can be taken to and from the festival, or simply to a bus stop or parking garage.
In Austin, there are several different pedicab companies; some employ as many as 40-60 people, while others are just independent riders. Each rider pays a lease for his or her pedicab, and that lease might be monthly or nightly depending on the company. Owners raise their rates during special events, such as South by Southwest, Austin City Limits or FFF Fest, so be aware.
“Because of the higher rates we’re charged, pedicab riders have to raise their fares to compensate, ” said Eddie Crochet, a pedicab operator for Pedicab Adventures. “The price itself depends on many different factors, such as distance, if it’s uphill, how many people there are or traffic. Legally speaking, payment is all tips. So if you can pay a penny, it’s legal. But, if you agree to a fare before you get on, or if they have a sign with rates posted, you’re committed to that fare.”
Just like cabs or other modes of private transport in Austin, pedicabs are licensed vehicles. Riders sign a contract, need registration and insurance and the City of Austin maintains a cap on licenses issued for pedicabs in the city; currently that cap is 500. The licenses themselves can be sold to other riders for as much as $5, 000.
The business, by no means small, comes with a community and culture of its own.
“You have people from all different kinds of backgrounds coming in and joining because almost anyone can do it, so it’s very diverse, ” Crochet said, adding, “most of us know each other, and after hours we spend time at the shops. There are about seven major shops where we hang at after hours. We relax, talk about the rides from the day, get to know each other, and just kick back.”