The poor man’s taxi; not allowed to pass through major streets; a sweating smelly driver. All these describe the “trisikad”, “padyak” or simply pedicab. If you are used to riding your airconditioned car, then you wouldn’t be familiar with it. And if you have seen one of them, or noticed one while on the road, it is probably because it is causing traffic and making you late for your appointment. Very few car drivers would have kind words for them. You wouldn’t ride it even if it is the last means of conveyance available on earth.
The trisikad has other iterations, not here but brace yourself, in New York! Other cities have their own versions too. New Yorkers call them “bicytaxi“. It may look more comfortable, more pleasing to the eye, more stable and safe, but it has the same basic design principle: a three-wheeled human-powered vehicle.
It is quite expensive though. “Transportation costs for BicyTaxi are currently set at $1 per block with a $10 minimum per person in New York”, according to treehugger,where I got this post. Where we are, you could ride our “padyak” for as little as $.25, going for perhaps 3 or 5 kilometers. But beware of some drivers who are out to get more than the ride is worth. A friend, my wife and I went to Divisoria once to shop at 168. We chose to ride one of those padyak, hoping to get there faster because of the traffic. We did get to 168 sooner than had we taken the jeepney, but the fare , 80 pesos, the driver charged us was more like fare for a taxi. Our friend just chose to pay the fare to avoid any inconvenience.