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Rickshaws originate from Asia. The word "rickshaw” comes from the Japanese word jinrikisha which literally means "human-powered vehicle”. The original rickshaws first consisted of a two-wheeled cart for which was drawn by a runner. Rickshaws appeared in Japan around 1868 and were mainly used as means of transportation for the social elite. In the 1880ies rickshaws also appeared in India and in the early twentieth century rickshaws were used in China. This form of a rickshaw that is pulled by a person on foot has nowadays been mostly replaced by cycle rickshaws. Cycle rickshaws (also known as pedicab, cycle taxi, trishaw) are human powered vehicles which mainly function like a bicycle.
They are used in many cities and countries of the world and appear in different variations and with different names. The use of rickshaws as a means of transport is common in countries such as for example Bangladesh, India, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and Mexico.

Sandro’s rickshaw comes from Thailand and was shipped to Basel in the late eighties. The rickshaw has had two different owners before it became Sandro’s rickshaw in December 2004.
Kilian’s rickshaw comes from Memeth, India. In Memeth it was formerly used as a cycle taxi. Since 1988 it belongs to Kilian and is used for Rikscha Basel rides in Basle.

Over the years both rickshaws have been renovated at the cost of more than SFR 7,000. In 2005 Sandro’s rickshaw received a new roof cover and a new red seat upholstering. Both rickshaws are today in excellent order and condition.