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Last year at the ASUG08 Annual Conference, co-located with SAP Sapphire, I was amused to see bicycle taxi drivers, human rickshaws, on the streets of Orlando Florida, wearing the logos of a major database vendor.  I thought, “what do bikes and RDBMSes have in common?”  The answer is still unclear.

I am not sure who sponsored the small local firm that owns the bicycle taxis (“Redi-Pedi-Cab Company”) last year.  As I walked between my hotel and the convention center I spotted several drivers taking riders up and down International Drive.  I then saw a group of them hanging around near the convention center.  I blogged about the dilemma they faced  with security not allowing them equal status with the fossil-fuel powered buses, trucks and cars that also moved people around the vicinity.

I asked one of the bike drivers to get my picture – this is me with Mark.

 

In the year since the last conference, I made contact with the small-business, (minority, woman) owner, Catherine Ojeda, first via email, then via FaceBook, and just this week, via her twitter account: http://twitter.com/pedicab

She has been searching in vain, so far, for a sponsor for the week of ASUG/Sapphire.   reached out to a couple folks at SAP, but nothing has worked out yet.  Yesterday, Catherine told me the convention center security people told her her pedi-cabs won’t be allowed on the grounds.  I hope she is able to work through whatever misconceptions and prejudices that are preventing this unique, environmentally friendly transportation alternative from equal rights to the roads.

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  1. Susan Keohan
    Hi Jim, this mode of transportation is not only eco-friendly, but lots of fun.  In Boston they are always found outside of Fenway Park.  They don’t use a set rate, but simply ask you to pay what you thought the ride was worth. 
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  2. Nigel James
    Hey Jim,

    I think it has nothing to do with the power source and everything to do with the logo they are wearing.

    I would be surprised if SAP didn’t get on the CSR angle on this.

    Cheers,
    Nigel

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    1. Jim Spath Post author
      Logo?  Yes, Nigel, the advertising on a few pedicabs torqued off the on-site traffic controllers last year.  I (personally) think they overstepped their authority, particularly since the advertised vendor had a booth on the show floor with very large signs (she’s my competitor [slap]; she’s my partner [slap]; she’s my competitor [slap]). 

      As for SAP “getting” the Corporate Social Responsibility angle on promoting non-fossil-fuel-fired transportation around the convention center area, I *would* be surprised, as I have been in regular contact with the owner of RediPediCab and at the end of last week she still was getting push back on just being on the convention center grounds, much less having SAP sponsor them.

      We shall see next week.

      Jim

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    1. Jim Spath Post author
      Bikas:

        No I have never been to India.  TechEd Bangalore is on my wish list, though the logistics are daunting.  I’m not in the jet set crowd.

        Thank you for the invitation!

        By the way, after this year, it’s ERP 3, bikes 0, as the pedicab drivers were once again blocked from access to the same roads used by cars and buses by Sapphire and/or conference center staffers.

      Jim

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