Emission Free, and Free to Ride: EcoCabs Roll Again


Photo via GO Mobile Media

Eco Cabs are one of the greatest, greenest ideas to roll through downtown city streets anywhere. They're emission free, provide quick comfortable transportation, publicly promote green transit, and are 100 percent free to ride. What's not to love?

Return of the EcoCabs
After a successful pilot program, where Eco Cab first offered Toronto green short distance transportation, the cabs are coming back in full force to the Toronto downtown and will re-launch on Earth Day this year.

Powered primarily by pedal, Toronto's EcoCabs also boast an electric motor that helps the vehicles hit speeds of 12 k/hr. They have no problem fitting into bike lanes, and their drivers can easily match speeds with other bikers to avoid congestion or collision. Last year's pilot program yielded an occupancy rate of an impressive 90 percent. The best part of the Eco Cabs, however, might be its business model.

Pedal-Powered Business Plan
The Cabs are completely run on funding generated by advertising revenue. As you can tell from the photo, they're bright yellow (taking inspiration from their fossil fuel burning forebears, no doubt) and have no trouble catching the eye. What you might not be able to tell from the photo is that the entire back of the cab is a sort of mobile billboard, which companies can pay to advertise on.

It's a win-win-win situation: patrons get to ride for free, advertisers get their message literally out in the streets, and a green-thinking company (hopefully) gets to make a profit. It represents the best kind of green entrepreneurship.

Incoming EcoCabs
The cabs in Toronto will rejoin the fleets of EcoCabs around the world that have already had success in countries like Sweden and Ireland. The EcoCabs have made debuts in over fifty cities already--let's hope the global recession doesn't swallow up the advertising revenue needed to power this great green idea.

More on Emission Free Transportation:
Dublin's Emission Free Taxi, Speedo's Green Goggles and San Fran's
Mercedes-Benz to Market an Emissions Free Vehicle

Related Content on Treehugger.com