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Reindeers redundant as Santa launches Jafacabs

6 December 2004

Reindeers redundant as Santa launches Jafacabs

Santa swaps his sleigh for pedicab power when he and Mayor Dick Hubbard take on city celebrities in a charity derby to launch Auckland's newest transport network this Wednesday (Dec. 8).

Five sponsored pedicabs - named Jafacabs by Auckland promotion group Heart of the City ­- will soon be providing free rides for shoppers, workers and tourists in Auckland's CBD.

Traffic in Queen Street will pause for about quarter of an hour on Wednesday when the celebrity relay derby to launch the service starts at 12.30pm in Aotea Square.

Compere Nathan Rarere will fire the start gun as four teams of celebrities - including radio personalities Kim and Corbett, a New Zealand Idol team and Jon Bridges and Shaun Summerfield - take on Santa and Mayor Hubbard.

The Derby heads down Queen Street from Aotea Square to the Britomart Centre and on to the Eastern Viaduct car park. There are two stops where the teams will change riders - one at the Victoria St intersection by the giant Santa and one in Britomart.

"They're Jafacabs because they're Just Another Friendly Auckland cab," says HOT City marketing manager Liz Smith.

"We are betting that Aucklanders and visitors alike will make the most of this fun, free eco-friendly transport system for Auckland."

Everyone's invited to Aotea Square from 12 noon when the Jafacab jockeys and their steeds will be revving up for the event.

And with a name like Jafacabs it's probably natural that Cadbury has sponsored one of the five. Other sponsors include Pepsi MAX, Tourism Auckland, Westpac and Heart of the City.

Thanks to Cadbury Jaffas, $10,000 will be split among three charities at the conclusion of the derby with the winner's nominee benefiting by $5,000.

Jafacabs will operate every day in the CBD, all summer until Easter Weekend, from 12 noon daily until 5pm on Mondays and Tuesdays, extending to 6pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. The service will run until 6pm on Sundays.

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-assisted motor provides the thrust for Jafacabs and the specially-trained riders are "friendly and informative" HOT City says.

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


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