|Dhaka Cycle Rickshaw|
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Efficiency on Wheels
Ironically, while Western Europeans, some of the richest people in the world, are happy to cycle for transport, here in
we prioritize motorized modes. We have contempt for the rickshaw, despite the
fact that the rickshaw is simply a three-wheeled bicycle, delivering almost all
the benefits of the bicycle to those who cannot use one. Bangladesh
Why the contempt for the rickshaw? One reason is that the rickshaw provides safe, convenient, door-to-door transport, and thus makes life easy for those who do not have a car. Those in the business of selling cars know that the existence of the rickshaw decreases the demand for a car. Why take out a loan to buy a vehicle you can’t afford when you can easily move about without one?
Western Europe, there is absolutely
nothing outdated or backward about the rickshaw. In fact, the rickshaw, like
the bicycle, is at the peak of civilization and modernity, a vehicle
appropriate for an age of concern about climate change and environmental issues
in general. Just as Europeans—Dutch, Swedes, Danes, Germans, and so
on—appreciate the many advantages of their fuel-free travel option, so we too
should appreciate and value the rickshaw.