More Winston-Salem customers may soon be able to take rides on rickshaws, or bicycles with passenger carts attached to them. The service could expand under new proposed regulations for the industry. 

The ordinance, proposed at a Winston-Salem City Council meeting Monday, creates a framework for rickshaw, or pedicab, companies to operate. 

A spokesperson for Winston-Salem’s Department of Transportation told the council that three companies have expressed interest in doing business in the city so far. Under the proposal, rickshaw drivers would have to be licensed and insured, and their vehicles would have to meet certain safety standards. 

The subject of debate during the meeting was where exactly the cabs would be able to transport passengers. City staff provided a potential operations map covering much of Winston-Salem’s central business district. Council member John Larson said it excluded too many areas.

“I think it's limiting the possibilities of marketing this program," he said. "I guess what I'm advising is to leave it as wide open as possible to give them as much flexibility as possible to take people where they want to go.”

An expanded map is expected in front of the full council next Monday for approval. If the ordinance passes, city staffers say rickshaw companies aim to begin full-scale operations in the spring. 

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