The Democratic National Convention and Republican National Convention couldn’t have been more different. But the Democratic and Republican delegates seemed to agree on at least one thing: Pedal-powered buses are an efficient way to get around.
A collaboration between Craftsmen Industries (the bus manufacturers), Humana (a health care company), and International Surrey Company provided 20 pedal buses to both conventions for the delegates. Users simply signed up with a “Freewheelin ambassador,” received a card equipped with a QR code, and scanned it for free rides. The 525-pound buses each carry eight passengers and a driver—everyone pedals, but the driver steers.
The buses were a resounding success at both conventions, where they gave 1,250 rides in Tampa for the RNC and 1,333 rides in Charlotte at the DNC. The buses didn’t mill around aimlessly, though; they operated on loops around the convention centers.
The conventions are over, but the buses live on–Tampa and Charlotte will each get to keep five of them for public use. And while we can’t exactly say that pedal-powered buses are growing in popularity, we’ve seen at least one other example (Dutch kids pedaling to school) of their use.