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Pedicabs could get boost from bill headed to governor

Life could get easier for Minnesota’s pedicab drivers — or, at least, hills a little easier to climb.  

Increasingly seen in areas of Minneapolis and St. Paul, pedicabs are essentially large tricycles that pull a passenger cab.

But in hilly terrain — seen in many areas of St. Paul, for example — it can be a challenge for drivers trying to pull in the neighborhood of 500 pounds.

To aid the small industry, the House on Wednesday passed HF3497/SF3084*, sponsored by Rep. Carlos Mariani (DFL-St. Paul) and Senate President Sandy Pappas (DFL-St. Paul), 131-1 and sent the bill to the governor.

The proposed legislation would allow municipalities that regulate pedicabs and rickshaws to allow those vehicles to be equipped with a small electric motor.

WATCH Floor debate of the bill on YouTube

It would be a boon to operators of the small-vehicle passenger services, Mariani said, allowing them to climb hills that can be difficult powered only by a pair of legs.

“In St. Paul it can very much be a big deal,” he said. The bill would help drivers “to get over those last few feet over a hill.” 

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