Unlicensed pedicabs, which for the longest time have been gone from our city, have been making quite a comeback recently. To combat this, police have issued a pedicab crackdown, which cumulated in them seizing 60 of these electric wagons in just one short hour!
The police especially targeted Changjiangnan Lu in the Baoshan District, which is one of the largest electric pedicab gathering spots in the city. Trying to escape the police, several drivers jumped into the nearby river with their vehicles, which caused this scene to the right.
Perhaps they thought the police wouldn’t bother trying to fish their muddy tricycles out. How naive. In the end, police dug out ten of those from the river, just adding to their collection count.
Of course, Baoshan District is not the only Shanghai location filled with these unlicensed rides. This summer has seen a reemergence of electric pedicabs, especially around famous tourist spots such as Nanjing Lu, Fuzhou Lu, and the rest of the Bund area.
Why have they come back? Xinmin found three reasons for it: First, it’s very hard to get a cab around these areas – or even if you did get one, the cab driver might refuse to take you because the ride is too short. How rude!
Second, signs and street markers are sometimes confusing to tourists. When they can’t find their way, for example, from the busy Nanjing Pedestrian Street to the Bund, tricycles seem to be the cheapest and the easiest ride to take. Third, after 22 o’clock, most of the buses become unavailable or come less often. As the administrators are also off duty by that time, pedicabs grow active in the dark of night.
Days ago, as I got out of the malls near Nanjing Rd and People’s Square at night, not surprisingly, I was warmly greeted by four of these tricycle drivers. They used three kinds of languages – Shanghai dialect, Chinese and English – to try and persuade me to get on.
Safety is the main reason why I chose not too – they don’ts have seat belts or other adequate protection, something you shouldn’t ignore on Shanghai’s crazy driver roads. But, from a different perspective, I can see how the inconvenience of the public transportation is definitely a major cause of the renaissance of these pedicabs.
As funny as it is to see a picture of pedicab drivers swimming in a river, maybe the authority should think more about how to solve the traffic problem instead of spending their time tracking down these “pathetic” pedicab drivers.