Roy Crowe is the founder of Corvallis’ third and newest pedicab company, People Power LLC. His mission is simple and community-centered: “I would like to see the world move away from fossil fuels. I think pedicabs are a fun, enjoyable way to get out and see the community without having to burn fuel to do it.” He joins the ranks of Corvallis Pedicab, established in 2009, and Andy’s Bike Cab, which began operating earlier this year, but said he doesn’t see himself as competing against them. “I see it as us competing against cab companies,” he said. Crowe will be showcasing his shiny, red two-seater at the Arts Walk this Thursday, so people can “ride the CAW.”
Art and community are important to Crowe, and inherent in community is transportation—you have to be able to meet to collaborate. But transportation itself can be a zero-emissions act of collaboration. Crowe said he believes the three pedicab companies work together to increase the visibility of alternative transportation, and he hopes others start driving pedicabs, too. He also wants riders to know a pedicab is a much more intimate way of experiencing the community. “When you get in your car or you get in a cab the world goes by so fast you can’t really enjoy it,” he said. “A pedicab’s slow! You get to take things in.”
The pedicab is licensed through the City of Corvallis and insured through Oregon State Credit Union. Crowe is currently the only driver—city policy is that anyone driving a pedicab for compensation must receive a license from the police department—though he’s looking for new drivers, with the ultimate goal of operating 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., seven days a week. He knows that there is a lot of business to be found downtown, ferrying late-night revellers back home, and he’s prepared. The pedicab is equipped with headlights, brake lights, four-way flashers, a car deck stereo, and a bumper—very visible at night. Crowe also has a PayPal card reader so potential riders don’t have to carry cash. As far as distance: “I’ll take them to Philomath if they’re willing to pay,” he said. But hills are pretty much the limit.
In addition to a pedicab, Crowe is diversifying with a solar-powered ice cream tricycle that carries Oregon-made dairy and non-dairy ice cream treats. His goal for the ice cream trike is to reinforce a positive image of alternative energy for the new generations—“the kiddos. It’s the little kids who are really going to need to be way more creative than we need to be when it comes to sustainability,” he said. His next idea in the works is playground equipment that can generate electricity. He wants his business to demonstrate how we, as a community, can rely on “the effort of people to generate the energy we need.”
Both the pedicab and the ice cream trike are available for events.
By Kelsi Villarreal