the city just approved bicycle cabs to operate in Philadelphia. Right now there are just two services, Chariots of Philly and Velo Park, and they are currently operating only in parts of Center City and the Northern Liberties, but if they get a good reception they will hopefully be allowed to expand their service areas eventually.
The two services have different strategies for bike-powered people-moving. Velo Park has a pretty interesting vehicle that is more of a human/electric power hybrid trike that looks like a retro-futuristic dune buggy.
From Velo-Park’s site:
Cabin made from recycled materials, Shimano 21-Speed transmission, Tecumseh differential, 250W /24V Heinzmann acceleration aid, Panasonic Lead-Gel batteries, Heila lights, signals, and brake lights, Magura parking brake, Brembo disk brakes. 10 feet long and 3.5 feet wide, 6 feet tall and 317 pounds.
This design sounds really interesting because it’s more of an all-purpose human powered vehicle than a bike. It seems this vehicle platform could easily be adapted for other uses like local deliveries or personal transport.
As for their services, they are planning on offering velo-guided tours as well as a $1-per block rate for cab rides.
Hopefully these things catch on- they could really work for Philly. If you see one, flag it down and go for a ride. Maybe these will eventually reduce the number of traditional cabs in the city- I’m sure many cyclists would appreciate that!