Pedicab service comes to Northern Arizona University
By: Maria DiCosola
In an attempt to find an alternate solution to decongesting campus traffic, NAU has initiated a unique and mode of sustainable transportation to get students from class to class.
Taxi-like bikes, known as pedicabs, will be criss-crossing North campus next semester. The pedicab service is only offered between Dupont Drive and University Avenue due to excessive hills on South campus.
Derek Hansen, the NAU marketing coordinator, is in charge of the new project. His department purchased a pedicab last spring and tested it out over the summer for orientation and summer school classes. According to Hansen, while the traffic was on a much smaller scale than the normal semester, the idea seemed successful.
“We just have the one right now because we wanted to see how it works and how viable it is, and so far it’s been pretty successful,” Hansen said. “So, we’re looking at the possibility of getting more.”
The goal of the pedicab project is to help alleviate some of the overcrowding at North campus hot spots.
“Primarily what we’re working on are some of our peak corridors, like getting our students from the library to the HLC, the Union, the parking garages, the bookstore; that central campus,” Hansen explained.
They hope to have the pedicabs running for around four hours per day during peak traffic times.
While the concept is still coming fruition, there is still only one pedicab and no solidified stops. However, Hansen said different departments including environmental groups on campus are interested in investing into more pedicabs.
The one currently in use has amenities including a motor assist, lights and a speaker system.
The rides will be free to university students and staff.
Not only can this be a new form of transportation at the university, but it can also be a new way to employ students. Potentially, students can apply to be a pedicab driver.
While NAU is still trying to determine the efficiency of the new mode of transportation, for now, Hansen said they hope to use the pedicab as a way to get students excited and thinking about sustainability and clean energy on campus.
“It is a fun and engaging service.”