My first days as an OKC Pedicab Driver

 

This is an update to an earlier JMBzine post.

Well FINALLY this week I have been working as a pedicab driver in OKC. I used to drive a pedicab in Austin and loved doing it, so I’ve been eagerly waiting for the chance to do it here in OKC (I was actually thinking about buying my own pedicab, but it was way too expensive on my tight budget, with good cabs going for $3500-5000), but recently I saw a driver with Brickshaw Pedicabs (for my out-of-town readers, the name comes from the OKC entertainment district, “Bricktown” which used to be the old Warehouse district) at the OKC Arts Festival which is where I made the hookup.

So then last week I went through the hoops to get my OKC pedicab license — getting a copy of my driver’s record from the tag agency, getting a criminal background check from OSBI, and then going down to the OKC PD to wait way too long to get my license (which was ridiculous… I waited about 20 minutes in line and then just as I was up to get my license, the folks in the office all say they have to go to a meeting and say “we’ll be back, maybe.” So I waited almost 2 hours more before they came back.)

BTW, here’s a scan of my new license as well as my old license from Austin…

OKC Pedicab license

Austin Pedicab license

Then on Wednesday of this week I had my first day on the job. During lunch, I did a training ride downtown with the Brickshaw’s manager and another driver (we were at the downtown farmer’s market giving away free pizza as a promotional thing for a downtown Italian resteraunt) and then than that night I rode.

My first night driving was pretty decent. I had low expectations since this was a Wednesday night (not a big night for nightlife), but I actually was able to hussle up a fair number of rides. Passengers were an interesting mix, but quite a few were small-town folks visiting the big city. I ended up pulling in $68 which I was pretty pleased with for just a few hours of work. (I only rode from 6:30-10:30 p.m.)

The next night (Thursday) was incredible. More competition from other pedcabers (I think 5 or 6 were out from the 2 companies, instead of 3), but there were lots more potential passengers. I did a few runs to downtown hotels, lots of runs to Spyce (a hip-hop club), Skyy Bar and Citywalk, but mostly picked up folks who wanted to cruise around. I also did one massively long run up to NE 8th & Stonewall (which I’ll never do again for less than $20… there is massive hill on that run that wore me out). Money-wise, I did real good, pulling in $106.50.

Finally last night (Friday) was ok. I got a very late start (thanks to leaving late from my day job, and having to change a tire before departing), so I was only on the road from 10:30-2:30. Thankfully though I had two big tippers (both paid $20), and lots of small rides. I did give quite a truly free rides but those I figure give me karma points and I’m sure that counts for something (and I got my butt pinched by one of the girls I gave a free ride to which is always fun). My gross for the night was $104.

So anyway I’m off to a good start. My income will likely drop some next week (I have to start paying rent on my cab then… we get our first few nights free), but I’m hoping to improve my fitness level and ride harder so I can compensate by pulling in more fares. As it stands now though, I’m going to be riding Wednesday-Friday nights (I’m not working on Saturdays so I’ll have one night to go out on the town when I want to, and also so I won’t be tempted to sleep in for church on Sundays), so if any of y’all are in Bricktown or Downtown, give me a call on my cell phone at 476-5620 and I’ll be glad to give you a ride for free (actually, that’s my gimmic. All rides are free with me, I make more money on tips than I would if I charged fares.