Cape Town - If you're tired of carrying your shopping bags but don’t fancy getting into a noisy taxi, then this “taxi-cycle” is just the thing for you.
Phulani Mbiza and his yellow taxi-bike are a familiar sight in Wallacedene, Kraaifontein, and is popular among shoppers.
Mbiza says he provides safe, fast and friendly service that won’t break the bank.
Not as fast as a normal taxi, passengers also get to see their town up close and personal and commuters can often be seen waving and calling out to friends and family.
Mbiza says he designed and built the yellow three-wheeler with two canopied seats at the back himself; he calls it his “office”.
The 24-year-old entrepreneur from Wallacedene explained: “My mom saw this cool bike at the home of a hotel owner in Cape Town, and told me about it.
“I bought it in December and decided to modify it after I saw how people in Wallacedene and Bloekombos struggled to get a taxi or they can’t afford taxi fees.
“I charge R35 for two people per ride," he added, "but the difference is I pick you up in front of the shop and drop you in front of your house because my taxi can get through all those narrow roads.
“The taxi owners don’t have a problem with me and actually want me to join them.”
The taxi has an electric motor but when the battery is flat, Mbiza simply pedals to get you home.
“When the battery is fully charged, I can drive for three weeks,” he claimed. He can carry three people at a time, while the groceries go under the bench. And just like its bigger brothers, this yellow taxi also has a loud hooter and cool sound system.
Mbiza has big plans for the future.
“I’m a security guard at night and drive taxi during the day,” he explained. “I would love to ride kids to school, and also do a medicine delivery service for the sick and elderly.”