5 Questions: Gregg Zuman

Gregg Zuman, who lives in Beacon, is the founder of Revolution Rickshaws, which provides pedicabs in New York City and just launched a pilot service from the Beacon Metro-North station. 

Gregg Zuman What inspired you to start Revolution Rickshaws?
After majoring in politics and investing time as a state committee member of the Green Party of New York, I came to realize that private enterprise was a better path for me to honor my native land, soil and people. Transport and logistics seemed a particularly sad sector, so I established Revolution Rickshaws in 2005 to provide electric-vehicle solutions. Last year, we established a brand, REVX, that is focused on urban logistics, providing delivery and distribution.

Who are your customers?
Quite an array. People seeking to provide rides for a living rent our pedicabs; couriers and companies that deliver produce, products and parcels lease and purchase our cycle-trucks; marketing companies and event producers buy branded pedicab promotions; and video and photo production companies use our film-trike services. It’s mostly food-related enterprises that hire REVX for deliveries. In Beacon, I’ve rolled a few hours over the past couple of weekends with a pedicab to see how people would respond. Passenger service between the river area and Main Street seemed promising.  

Is fitness the main attribute for drivers?
Not as much these days, because the electric-assist motors have shifted the dynamic tremendously. But when we started in 2005, every driver pedaled. The cab I just started pedaling in Beacon sports a beefy assist motor to get up the hill from the train station. For the pedicab drivers, having a thick skin while cruising and pitching rides is the most critical attribute. I call our trikes the King Kongs of bicycles, because they’re so large everyone else keeps their distance in the streets.

Which service is the most popular?
It changes almost year to year. The past two years or so, we have sold well over 100 cargo bike trailers from Germany and France kitted out with surge brakes, 450 pounds of weight capacity and extra-long cargo beds. The demand for pedicab rides nosedives after New Year’s Eve, so nobody rents the cabs. The pedicab promos are our most consistent performers.

What’s the most surprising request you’ve received?
We’ve been all over the region executing film-trike services. Once, we were hired to go to rural Connecticut and deploy the film-trike on a covered bridge to help Wes Craven shoot one of his horror movies. They weren’t allowed to operate a motor vehicle on the bridge, and we saved the day.

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