Originally published July 02, 2013 on RVAnews.com
After a busy first couple of weeks pedaling the streets and raising eyebrows for their new company, Katie Hurst and Kyle Langemeier of pedicab company Spoken4 are off to a good start.
A new pedicab company launched on June 20th says business is off to a very good, but hectic start.
“It’s just a little bit of a learning curve on our part too see what processes are going to work the best and how drivers report back to us what’s going to work out,” Hurst said.
Spoken4, a new alternative to traditional taxi service in the city, takes patrons through Carytown, the Fan, and into Shockoe Bottom in rickshaws. Although still working out the pricing structure, an average ride costs about $10 and taxis accept both cash and credit payment. Hurst and Langemeier were inspired by pedicabs in Charleston, SC and thought a similar concept in Richmond might aid the transportation issue the city faces.
“(Spoken4) is an effort to bring a better form of transportation that’s also kind of fun and really target that sort of younger working type that wants to go from point A to point B but doesn’t necessarily want to go the 10 blocks in a car,” co-owner Katie Hurst said.
As a senior account manager at Madison+Main, Hurst juggled her full-time marketing job with developing her business idea late this spring with her boyfriend Langemeier. The business is currently based inside of Hurst’s home, and the couple trades off day-to-day duties. “It’s a lot, but it’s all fun,” Hurst said.
In only a few short months, the pair formed their business plan, ordered a set of American-made cabs from California-based company VIP Pedicab and announced on Mothers Day that they would be fully operational by summer.
“One of the things I’ve learned is if you don’t take a risk you’ll never know, so you kind of just have to try and get out there, and that’s what we’re doing,” Hurst said.
Spoken4 currently has five pedicabs in operation nearly every night around the city. Each cab weighs 190 lbs, Hurst said, and although she won’t be taking people around on cabs herself, she’ll be working behind the scenes each night to organize her drivers and dispatch the bikes.
“We’re just excited and we hope that everyone else is as excited to have us here as we are to be here.”
You can tweet, text, or call Spoken4 for a ride during their regular hours.