Rickshaw service considered for summer tourist season at Sylvan

Rickshaws could offer Sylvan Lake visitors a unique way to check out Lakeshore Drive, if a local town councillor has his way. Dale Plante has proposed starting up a rickshaw business to cater to the summer tourist throngs.

Rickshaws could offer Sylvan Lake visitors a unique way to check out Lakeshore Drive, if a local town councillor has his way.

Dale Plante has proposed starting up a rickshaw business to cater to the summer tourist throngs.

“I just think it’s just a really cool way to move people around,” he said on Monday.

Plante said the rickshaws, which are pulled by a person on foot and typically have room for a couple of passengers, are a common sight in cities like Toronto and he thinks they would fit in well in Sylvan Lake.

They could be used to transport people from parking lots to the beach and would provide students with a good source of summer employment.

The rickshaws could carry advertisements for local businesses.

“It’s not a very super-lucrative business, but I think it adds to the atmosphere,” he said.

There will be some hurdles to overcome. The town doesn’t have any bylaws to regulate or license rickshaws and local police would need to be consulted.

Not all councillors were keen to see rickshaws sharing local roads with cars.

Coun. Ken MacVicar said there is already bumper-to-bumper traffic on Lakeshore Drive on nice summer days and introducing rickshaws could create a safety hazard.

“I don’t even see this as being an area we should even go down,” said MacVicar.

Plante believes regulations can be put in place to take care of safety issues and ensure the rickshaws have the proper lights and designated travel routes.

Council unanimously voted to direct staff to review the implications of allowing rickshaws.

Plante was not present for the vote or the discussion to avoid any conflict of interest.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

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