Riding in style

Coaster Pedicab has operations in nine cities from Boston to San Francisco. The pedicab business model is fairly unique — the operator rents the bikes to self-employed, licensed pedicab drivers who earn their living off of fares and tips. So when mechanical problems keep a pedicab in the shop, it directly impacts everyone’s bottom line.

Frustrated by frequent breakdowns, Coaster’s owners started thinking about designing and manufacturing their own version. With their mechanics, marketing team and frequent drivers, they put together a wish list for a next-generation pedicab. Then they came to Design Concepts to help them make it real.

There were several challenges to address:

  • Engineering a bike that is tough enough to reliably carry several hundred pounds of load over many miles every day;
  • Improving the experience for both drivers and riders;
  • Creating an approachable design that grabs attention from the street;
  • Providing a tasteful yet impactful platform for mobile advertising that can be swapped out when campaigns change.

The team included avid cyclists with experience designing and engineering bicycles. They brought their expertise to the inner workings of the bike, creating a sturdier gearing and braking system. The stylish, approachable design provides comfortable seating, cover from the elements and an unobstructed view of the surroundings for passengers. It offers more storage and better lighting visibility for drivers. Finally, the cab is wrapped in plastic panels that can be easily removed, decorated and re-attached by Coaster mechanics.

The first prototype underwent field testing in Boston and Providence, RI. Coaster manufactured an additional group of prototypes for testing at several of their operations across the United States. The pedicab is now available for purchase. Read a story about the company by Boston.com



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