Pedicab Newport RI
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — On a brisk early-autumn night, two members of the Sol Chariots Pedicab Cooperative pedaled their bright-yellow rickshaws, nicknamed Blinky and Clyde, through Dexter Park and downtown, stopping for human cargo. John Bitondo wore his signature tank top, trouser shorts and suspenders. Ally “Azar” Trull, dressed in a purple and black ensemble that contrasted sharply with her fair complexion, picked up a father and two children. The passengers giggled and leaned back in their carriage like royalty in a rolling palanquin. Sol Chariots is new and tiny — just six pedicabbing members and the two three-wheel vehicles, named after ghosts from the Pac-Man arcade game — but the cooperative’s faith in the sharing economy is outsize.
A year ago, when Trull and her twin sister, Ashley, or just Ash, founded this worker-owned, worker-controlled business, they had just wrapped up a second summer pedicabbing in Newport, about 30 miles to the south. Amid grand mansions and seaside bars and restaurants, they pedaled vehicles rented from the owner of a fleet. They were independent contractors under the law but had no say over their hours or the rental fee, which had to be paid regardless of what they earned.
This is standard in the pedicab industry and, likewise, for automobile taxis and livery cars. Drivers all fear that they’ll “go negative for the night, ” said Bob Farr, a pedicabber in Austin, Texas. In New York City, rickshaws are usually rented out for $100 to $200 per week to drivers who may earn only $500, according to Ibrahim Donmez, a driver and pedicab activist.
By contrast, the members of Sol Chariots jointly own Blinky and Clyde — bought used on Craigslist — and divvy up the week’s shifts, paying 20 percent of individual earnings into the cooperative. “We make decisions by consensus, which works most of the time, ” Ally Trull said, adding with a laugh that discussions are sometimes interminable.
Members of Sol Chariots at their weekly co-op meeting.E. Tammy Kim for Al Jazeera America
At their Tuesday-night meetings, held at a tidy worker-owned grocery in Providence, the members decide what fares should be charged, how to compensate members for hours spent on clerical tasks, what to do in the winter months and whether to invest in a third vehicle. “We all have a position and communicate with each other. In the meetings, we talk about tours (and) events. We always know what’s happening, ” said Frances “Red” Mateo, a mother of two from Puerto Rico who joined the co-op in August.
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Where are the fireworks Newport, RI?
The fireworks can be viewed from Goat Island. In the event that they are canceled, you can to Bristol which is a 20 min drive.
When was Newport, RI settled?
Newport, RI was established by English colonists in 1639. Nicholas Easton and William Coddington were some of the first officers.