When Jaime Chapman launched Pineapple Pedicabs in 2019, she had a vision for bringing eco-friendly transportation to the Biggest Little City. Inspired by pedicabs in Key West, Florida, it was one of the first gaps she noticed in local offerings upon visiting Reno.
“I drove pedicabs for years,” Chapman says of her Key West career.
Chapman decided to bridge the gap and bring her favorite type of transportation to Reno, a town she admittedly had fallen in love with and where she was looking to relocate.
After saving up to purchase her first pedicab, Chapman took the plunge and became a Reno resident on May 15, 2019. On May 17 she hit the pavement and started offering rides.
Fast forward three years and Pineapple Pedicabs operates a fleet with five vehicles and nine drivers (but she’s hiring and in desperate need of more). The general business model is providing rides around downtown, Midtown, Wells Avenue and the brewery district from 5-10 p.m. nightly.
That being said, those hours are very flexible and special events may draw the cabs out at different hours. On Food Truck Fridays, for example, every vehicle is catering to that event, getting people to and from the park. And when Thursday art walks return, Pineapple Pedicabs will have a presence there, too.
To take one, simply flag them down. It’s just like hailing a taxi.
The rides once cost $2 per minute, but investments from business partnerships have changed that model. Now, patrons are encouraged to tip their “drivers,” but rides are otherwise free thanks to local companies sponsoring various nights.
The sponsorships may be related to events, using the pedicabs to transport people to and from a specific spot on a given evening. Or they may simply be open to rides to and from locations in the designated neighborhood boundaries.
The other aspect of the business, one that grew out of necessity during the COVID-19 pandemic, is tours.
“I’ve always been a tour guide,” Chapman shares. “I really did like the idea of showing Reno but it really took [precedence] during COVID.” That’s in large part because reservations were required for rides.
Today, 90% of Chapman’s business is tours.
Every month, Pineapple Pedicabs launches a themed option for patrons. In May, for example, it was a tacos and margaritas tour. In February, the team worked with The Theatre to curate special date nights geared toward couples.
In June, food and drink tours will feature restaurants and bars associated with Reno Food and Drink Week, plus a special brewery tour for Father’s Day. For those who don’t drink, mocktails are a common offering at sponsored locations.
This summer, Chapman is looking to spice up offerings. Talk of pizza tours, French fry tours and ice cream tours have already been put on the table, adding some family-friendly options to the mix.
There are also art and mural tours, and more art-centric opportunities will come in July when Artown heads back to Reno.
The tours are not only temporary, but limited, which means if one strikes your fancy, you need to act fast.
If you aren’t inspired by any of the provided tours, custom tours are always available, allowing customers to pick their own spots or put their fate in the hands of Chapman who will curate an evening based on your interests.
In addition to being a fun alternative to rideshares and taxi services, Pineapple Pedicabs is also dedicated to being green. In fact, the company is a certified Nevada Green Business working toward tier three certification.
To schedule a tour, head online to PineapplePedicabs.com.