Steve Tomb (left) and Mike Smith, proprietors of the Adirondack Pedal Cab Co., pose in one of their their bicycle-powered rickshaws soon after presenting details Monday March 19 of their proposed service to the Lake George Village Board. The two plan to have 10 to 20 of their pedalcabs circulating in Lake George as soon as this summer, transporting tourists to various destinations in exchange for donations.
Ten to 20 pedal-powered rickshaws may be whisking tourists around town as soon as this summer, according to plans now being concocted by two area entrepreneurs.
Steve Tomb and Mike Smith of Adirondack Pedal Cab Co. presented their plans Monday March 19 to the Lake George Village Board, seeking a contract to operate in the village. The contract, similar to the agreement the village now has in effect with the horse carriage services, would provide several sites, most likely along Canada St., for the rickshaws to park. Several locations suggested along Canada St. include one adjacent to Fun World amusement center and another beside the Rexall drug store.
Tomb described how up to 24 pedaled rickshaws would be circulating through the village — primarily on Canada St. and primary commercial venues — taking passengers to and from area accommodations, restaurants and attractions.
The service would have no set charge, but would rely on voluntary donations, Tomb said.
“It will be on a ‘pay what you want’ basis,” he said. “People will tip the driver $5, $10 or $20 — whatever they think the service is worth.”
The rickshaws would be pedaled by cyclists knowledgeable in the village’s attractions and history, and their charisma and skill as a tour guide — and familiarity with area restaurants and hot-spots — would prompt enough donations to make the business viable, he said.
“This will be eco-friendly, fun transportation,” Tomb said, noting that the idea was granted an award by a North Country economic development council. “Our drivers will be highly educated about the village — trained as local ambassadors — and there will be no hawking of customers.”
Customers will be encouraged, he said, to adopt the enterprise’s smart-phone app, which will allow potential clients to track the positioning of all their pedalcabs in the village — so they know where they can catch a ride. These apps will also let the pedalcab drivers to connect with the clients and plan their successive trips through the village, he said.
Tomb said the pedalcab operation will create 28 season jobs in the village, as well as provide a fun attraction in its own right.
He also noted that the pedalcab drivers would undergo thorough safety training.
Ray Perry said that the service would be particularly useful in the evening and night hours, to keep intoxicated people from driving motorized vehicles and posing safety hazards.
Tomb said he’d talked with various accommodations in the village, and they were enthusiastic about the service.
Mike Smith said that the pedalcabs would likely roam territory as far south as Water Slide World at state Rte. 9L, and as far north as the intersection of Rte. 9N and Canada St.
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.
Blais said he would be meeting with Tomb and Smith as soon as possible to draft a potential agreement, with a goal of having the contract ready for board review at their early-April meeting. Blais also said that he’d be researching whether licensing such a service would need to be put out for public bid.
‘This appears to be a valuable service, one that will add to the attractions of the Village,” Blais said.