GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The influx of downtown Greensboro visitors now has a new, "greener" transportation option by which to get around or tour the city.
Gate City Pedicab launched its service July 3, after company owners Steven and Sarah Bristow spent two years cultivating an inspiration they had while traveling Charleston, S.C.
Pedicabs, known as "vestals" in some states, are a rising trend in cities across the U.S., due to their unique, environmentally-friendly method of transportation. Pedicabs are essentially over-sized tricycles with benches.
The Bristows bought two pedicabs for $3,000 each and acquired a business privilege license from the city. Steven Bristow said the company hopes to purchase two more bikes to add to his fleet by this fall.
Gate City Pedicab is currently a part-time company comprised of the Bristows and eight drivers. Bristow said the drivers began as a couple of family members but have grown to include people who thought it would be "fun" to drive the cars and earn extra cash.
Bristow said the public's response to the new service has been very positive.
"We have had nothing but good comments from the people riding," he said.
The pedicabs typically seat two adults or a family of four with small children. Bristow said they are equipped with proper safety features, including basic safety reflectors, brake lights, turn signals and seat belts. They have covers (sun shades) that can protect against light rain.
The Gate City Pedicab's hours of operation are (weather permitting):
Thursdays, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Fridays, 6 p.m. to 2:30 a.m.
Saturdays, 1 p.m. to 2:30 a.m.
Sundays, 1 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Gate City Pedicab has no set routes but travels within the downtown Greensboro area.
"We ask them what they want to see," explained Bristow.
Bristow said the pedicabs are a popular option for people who go to the Greensboro Grasshoppers games and to and from venues on Elm Street.
Gate City Pedicab has no set hub and takes requests by phone. The fee for a one-way trip is only a tip. A 15-minute ride through downtown Greensboro is a flat $10 rate for two people. A 30-minute ride is $20.
People interested in riding the pedicabs can call Gate City Pedicabs at 336-207-7413 to make a reservation. Or, they can flag down an open pedicab, as they regular taxi cab.
Gate City Pedicabs also is looking to hire five more drivers. Contact Steve Bristow at the number above, if interested in a position.
WATCH WFMY NEWS 2'S GOOD MORNING SHOW FRIDAY FOR A LIVE, INSIDE LOOK AT THE NEW GATE CITY PEDICABS.
[*NOTE: LIVE SEGMENTS ARE SUBJECT TO LAST-MINUTE RESCHEDULING, PENDING BREAKING NEWS.]