RICHMOND, Va. -- A Richmond couple, inspired by a faraway trip, has brought environmentally-friendly trikes to the streets.
Lyndsi and David Austin started RVATukTuk after a Spring vacation to Lisbon, Portugal. They brought back the idea of street-legal, three-wheeled passenger vehicles.
"Our drivers help people get on. There’s seat belts and you just slide over and buckle yourself in," Lyndsi Austin explained.
The couple now operates four 100 percent electric Tuk Tuks out of their West Clay Street garage. They speed no more than 25 mph.
"It’s got a VIN number and all the safety features required. It's U.S. Department of Transportation certified," they said. "It’s not meant to replace Uber or Lyft. This is really for that last mile. The things you’d feel guilty ordering to get you to because you’re not that far away."
The couple hopes to double the number of Tuk Tuks on the road by Fall 2020.
"What we are focusing on right now are the tours, private events like wedding and corporate events," Lyndsi stated. "It’s exciting, it’s new and I think it’ll be a wonderful amenity for city residents."
Currently, riders can't order an individual trip, but are encouraged to flag a Tuk Tuk down if they see it on the street.
They planned to sell advertising space on the outside of the trikes and on a sign hanging on the back.
RVATukTuk is offering free rides on a designated route from Scott's Addition to the Fan and back beginning Friday, Oct. 25 from 6 through 10 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 26 from 4 through 8 pm. Follow their social media pages for map information.