Adirondack Pedal Cab Company drivers stop at The Exchange in North Creek during the Gore Mountain Region Chamber of Commerce’s Main Street ribbon-cutting celebration on June 30.
Rickshaws from the Adirondack Pedal Cab Company are now helping greet visitors arriving here on the Saratoga & North Creek Railway.
Most of the company’s eco-friendly fleet of 22 pedal cabs — shipped from China — are being used in the village of Lake George to help transport tourists to shopping destinations and attractions. But a few of the three-wheeled bicycle taxis have also been used in North Creek to meet visitors arriving on the train and bring them up and down Main Street.
“When people come in off the train, often they’ve never been here before,” said Michelle San Antonio who sells advertising for the Adirondack Pedal Cab Company. “Usually when people see the cab, they’re very excited about it. They think it’s a neat idea, so it’s not a hard sell to get people into the cab to take a ride.”
Johnsburg Central School teacher Steve Tomb started the company with two of his friends and fellow entrepreneurs, Mike Smith and Ken Murray. Their idea is to provide green transportation using electric-assist people-powered pedal cabs operated by a driver.
“This is a common form of transportation in many parts of the world,” San Antonio said. “Steve Tomb, when he did his teaching semester in India two years ago, this was the transportation that was so common there, and that’s where he got the idea from.”
In North Creek, the company is focusing on transportation needs during the high-traffic times on the weekend afternoons (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) when the train makes daily runs, arriving in North Creek at 12:09 and 2:34 p.m. and departing at 3:45 p.m. Operations began on Memorial Day weekend and are expected to continue through the leaf-peeping season in October.
In Lake George, riders can park their car at the Pedal Cab Company shop next to the Spare Time Bowling Lane and ride a pedal cab to the beach or into the business district. Operators may also roam territory as far south as Water Slide World at state Route 9L, and as far north as the intersection of Route 9N and Canada Street. Hours of operation are to be from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day in the summer, and weekends in the shoulder seasons.
There is no set fee for taking the pedal cabs.
“The rider pays whatever they think the ride is worth,” San Antonio said. “The business owners did a lot of research ... and they realized after talking to all these pedal cab companies across the country that the pay-what-you-think-it’s-worth model is the best model to follow because it gives the rider a sense of ownership ... Sometimes you get more than what you think you should get, and sometimes you get less, so it all works out in the end.”
Visitors to Lake George can find a pedal cab using a smartphone app called The Pedal Cab Finder. The app is available for Android and iPhone and is an app not only for customers, but also for drivers.
“Our research showed that no other pedal cab company had an app where customers could hail a cab,” Tomb said. “This app allows a customer to find which drivers are located nearby and then contact that driver directly. As a pedal cab driver, the app will significantly increase their ridership and therefore their revenue.”
The pedal cab finder is also available on the company’s website: www.adirondackpedalcab.com. For more information, call 955-7335.