ROYAL OAK, Mich. - The city of Royal Oak gave the green light to "bikeshaws" a couple of weeks ago.
The bikeshaw is the rolling version of a rickshaw, becoming a taxi for those in busy downtown Royal Oak. The idea to bring such taxis to Metro Detroit belongs to Sean Paraventi, a native Detroiter who has spent a lot of time out of state.
"I've seen it in other places like Phoenix and Austin and New York and I thought it would be a great thing to bring to Metro Detroit," Paraventi said. "Royal Oak is the ideal spot because of its size, because of its traffic and its nightlife."
Read more: Progress rolls right along in Royal Oak
The 45-year-old is a lifelong starving artist who believes he has struck a bit of gold with the idea.
"I do some acting. I'm a playwrite and this gives me some leeway as far as my schedule goes and allows me to pursue those things," he said.
From Thursday to Sunday, now until the snow gets in the way, Paraventi plans to be out in Royal Oak with his bikeshaw, offering rides. He already has pedaled his way into the hearts of Royal Oak regulars such as Karen Mchugh.
"I think it's really comfortable, much more than I thought it would be," Mchugh said. "Sean seems in tune with the safety and watching out for cars and people as well."
For all the work that went into getting his business rolling, Paraventi is staying true to his flower-child roots.
"The rate is pay whatever you want. Yes, people have been very generous. It's worked out well so far. I trust in the kindness," he said. "I've always relied on the kindness of strangers."
For more information on Pavarenti and his bikeshaw service, go to bikeshawsean.wordpress.com.
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