As you walk around downtown Cincinnati, Newport, or even Bellevue these days you may see new pedicabs moving about. Pedicabs have become increasingly popular in other major urban areas throughout the United States including Austin, New York City, Boston, and San Francisco.
Newport-based J-Rides has begun operating within Cincinnati’s center city and, like many start-ups, was born from a moment of seeing a need and realizing that nobody else was providing it.
Residents of downtown Cincinnati, J-Rides’ owners Beatrice Terekhov and Jared Poweski say that they were out running errands one day when they realized that there was no quick and easy way to get from the Ohio side of the river to the Kentucky side without jumping in a car. A few days later they were getting started on a business plan to start J-Rides.
The bike taxis take revelers and residents alike between the different areas of the river basin for little or no charge. The drivers, who work mostly for tips, work under contract to operate a J-Rides pedicab and receive training and licensing.
“Servicing almost the entire urban area, the pedicabs can easily be flagged down for a ride or can be booked for a tour,” Beatrice told UrbanCincy. “Our pedicabs travel on the streets just like any other vehicle, but they are allowed on the Purple People Bridge which makes for a great ride.”
While pedicab service thrives in other urban settings, the owners of J-Rides say that they are still working to dispel myths about their service.
“We are all weather, can carry two to three passengers, and are absolutely safe,” Beatrice explained when asked about what hurdles they have to overcome. “Only severe weather like an ice storm or heavy snow will keep us off the road this winter.”
According to Beatrice, the pedicabs are also inspected by each city in which they operate, include seat belts, and have a canopy for cold and rainy weather.
Aside from moving people throughout the center city, J-Rides is also hoping to help create a thriving urban area in Cincinnati. This support, Beatrice says, may come through advertising for local establishments or by putting more eyes on the street. After one of J-Rides’ drivers recently helped apprehend a pickpocket in Newport, Beatrice says that their service is helping to make the urban environment both better and safer.
The company will also be assisting with upcoming walks and races by offering rides to people who might otherwise not be able to participate, and Beatrice hopes to host a fundraiser of their own later this year that will support the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).
J-Rides pedicabs can be reserved by calling (513) 702-7656 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The pedicab service can also be used for longer rides including tours of the area with rates starting at $25 for 30 minutes. Look for the pedicabs throughout Bellevue, Newport, Cincinnati, and hopefully Covington once the Roebling Suspension Bridge reopens in about a month.