During your stay in New Orleans there are many transportation options available for getting around the city: everything from vintage streetcars and turn-of-the-century-style mule-drawn carriages to sleek, modern tour buses and taxis. To this varied inventory of conveyances is added yet another means of getting around: pedicabs.
Approved by the New Orleans City Council in September 2010, with rules and regulations finalized in July 2011, the first pedicabs officially began rolling on September 15, 2011. Three companies, furnishing 15 pedicabs each for a city-mandated maximum of 45, are now offering their services to and from anywhere in New Orleans.
Powered by a knowledgeable driver manually working bicycle-driven pedals, the pedicabs operating on the streets of the city have a maximum capacity of two persons per vehicle. Retractable, convertible-style canvas roofs offer protection from rain or the glaring sun. The rates per ride, as mandated by the city, are $5 for the first six blocks and $1 per block per person after that. All pedicab drivers are licensed by the city, many of whom are also licensed tour guides.
The pedicabs, which operate primarily along the Canal Street downtown corridor and in the French Quarter and nearby Faubourg Marigny and Garden District neighborhoods, are environmentally friendly, non-fossil-fuel-consuming vehicles that specialize in conveying passengers over relatively short distances. Drivers will often stop at passengers' requests to allow them to take photos or stop to point out sites to their passengers without charging them for waiting time, as would be done by a metered gas-driven vehicle.
Pedicabs may be hired by either hailing one on the street (they often park near major hotels and places of interest) or by calling a dispatch number. Passengers can be picked up and taken to anywhere in the city but, for longer trips, other means of transportation would be advised.
Pedicabs are available for parades and other special events, and are often seen in second lines. In addition, they can be chartered for "photo safaris," wedding parties and other group events. (NOTE: For those planning to charter a party of more than 30 people, more than one pedicab company will have to be called. Each company has only 15 pedicabs in its fleet, with a capacity of two passengers per vehicle.)
Pedicabs generally operate from the early morning hours until midnight on weekdays and later on weekend nights.