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Pedal power returns to Auckland City

Tuesday, 29 November 2005

Pedal power returns to Auckland City

L to R: Emmylou Wellacott, Tom Pickering, Iliui Wilson

Petrol prices may be at record levels but a 60 per cent increase in the number of Jafacabs on the streets of Auckland's CBD this year is only good news for Christmas shoppers.

The three-wheel pedal-powered cabs were such a hit last summer the Auckland promotion group Heart of the City has decided to add three new cabs this year.

It's the new way to get around the Queen City's CBD. Starting Thursday December 1 the eight Jafacabs are providing free rides delivering shoppers, workers and tourists as they go about their daily deeds.

Auckland HOT City marketing manager Liz Smith says it's a relaxing and fun way to get around the central business district.

"Jafacabs provide a great service, are environmentally friendly and attract attention wherever they go," Liz says. "And just think of all the money you're saving on petrol.

"To catch a ride simply wave at a vacant cab and the driver will stop where it's safe and then pedal you on a free ride to wherever you want to go in the CBD."

The cabs run all summer until March 31, starting from 12 noon daily until 5pm on Sundays to Tuesdays, 6pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays and until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.

Jafacabs operate within the CBD between Victoria Park in the west and the University in the east and the waterfront and Mayoral Drive.

The three wheel powered bicycles with three-person passenger cabs are popular in many of the world's leading cities - London, New York, Sydney, San Francisco, Oslo and Paris all have thriving pedicab services.

Pedal power supported by a battery-assist motor provides the thrust for Jafacabs and the specially-trained riders are "friendly and informative" HOT City says.

More than half of last year's riders have returned to drive the Jafacabs this summer. They join the new recruits who have undertaken a comprehensive training programme.

"It was a great summer job last year so when the opportunity came up again I couldn't pass it up" says university student and Jafacab driver Tom Pickering.

"It's cool meeting passengers and is really satisfying to provide them with a fun but different experience. Plus, it's a great way to maintain my fitness and make the most of the sun...when we have it!"

The Jafacabs are designed for passenger safety and comfort as well as manoeuvrability. All cabs are fitted with the best safety equipment including lights, safety belts and canopies.

"Jafacabs are certainly a colourful focus for Auckland's CBD as well as offering what other dynamic cities prove is a popular service," Liz says.

For more details on the Jafacabs, visit www.jafacab.co.nz .


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