Rickshaw is light 2 wheeled cart designed to carry 2 to 3 people. Traditionally, rickshaws were vehicles pulled by runners holding shafts of cart in both hands. Modern rickshaws have changed and they are now drawn by bicycles and light weight motors. It is lightweight and efficient mode of transport which is used all over the world extensively. They exist in large numbers of native Asia but some countries have restricted use of such vehicles due to fear of accidents.
Rickshaw is short of jinriksha which stands for human powered vehicle. Such rickshaws have existed in Asia since long time and there are numerous writings and drawings which show rickshaws through the ages. Europeans later adopted this concept and took it to their home after they visited Asia. When bicycle developed, there were bicycle rickshaws created and it took over the conventional man powered ones. Basic rickshaw concept is still used for things like drink carts or ice cream stalls particularly in Asia.
Cities having cramped and narrow streets use rickshaws for getting around with minimal fuss. These cars are easier to move around and don’t need lot of room. Hence, rickshaws can travel around in tighter areas with much ease as they don’t cause much traffic jams. Also, rickshaws don’t pollute the environment much as they don’t create lot of emissions. Seats have spaces for storing groceries and other such supplies and rental rates of these vehicles are very affordable. Hence, they are used by lot of people for travel around in city.
Some people enjoy travelling in rickshaws. They are mostly slow in pace and hence let people do some sightseeing. The rickshaw pullers also point out different interesting sights and talk about history of the place to passengers who want to know more. There are places where rickshaws aren’t popular but there are pedicabs or bicycle based rickshaws seen commonly. They are used more by tourists for exploring areas without walking much.
Rickshaws come with some disadvantages too. For instance, manually pulled rickshaws are limited by fitness and speed of runner. This can be problem in areas where there are long working shifts. Rickshaws can also get caught up in accidents easily and passengers are susceptible to it as there is minimal protection is such vehicles. Also, some people feel uneasy in getting carried or being pulled by others. Class conscious people too don’t feel easy in such vehicles.