Rickshaws were the main method of transportation on the poorer countries of South East Asia and India for a long time. India still has many small businesses that include rickshaws or the modern equivalent called Pedicab.
The Pedicab is a tricycle type of rickshaw that you peddle rather than pull.
One company in New York uses these ancient means of transportation to haul people and freight. They can go in places where most modern transportation cannot.
If you are interested in starting a business like this, you will need rickshaws. You can buy them at somewhere in the neighborhood of $2,000.00 average.
One other option you might consider; building your own bicycle.
How do you go about doing that?
Most modern experts agree that you must start with a frame. This involved process requires a great deal of skill. You might want to enroll in a frame-building workshop. There they will teach you how to construct a steel frame. Keep in mind this is not cheap.
You could design your own frame and job it out to a professional frame-maker. It is quite expensive but you know what you will get and it will reduce the stress of getting it right yourself.
You will need some parts. Be careful where you shop. You do not want to get stolen parts that will cause you problems later. Bicycles are stolen at the rate of 500,000 in the UK each year. The second hand market is robust. Street markets are a favorite place for thieves to unload stolen goods.
Have someone paint your frame for you. You want a profession job here.
Make sure you have the proper tools for doing this job. Some parts require special tools to accomplish the job properly.
Keep in mind that cost can become a problem. Some bicycle parts such as carbon fiber composite wheels can be quite expensive.
Be sure, if you do build one yourself, that you ensure that it is fully constructed, and save to operate.
Another option is to consider purchasing an old bicycle and modifying it to work at a rickshaw.
You can buy used bicycle parts on many places to include online stores such as EBay where many of those parts are up for auction.
Local bike stores also are a source for parts. They are easy to get to, and you know whom you are working with at the local level.
If you are in the rickshaw business, you might consider building you own bicycle. You can learn to build your own frame, buy parts both online and locally. If you make sure you know what you are doing, you can learn a new skill and build what you need at a greatly reduced cost.