Ottawa Rickshaws reaches out to students

Ottawa Rickshaws co-owner Adam Slight demonstrates his running form. His company strives to employ students.

When Adam Slight was looking for a change of pace, he turned to rickshaw running. A year later, he is co-owner of Ottawa Rickshaws and has big plans for improving the company.

Slight says he was inspired by his summer working as a rickshaw runner and when he had the opportunity to buy Ottawa Rickshaws in February, he couldn’t pass it up.

“(Rickshaw running) is something that a lot of runners really get obsessed over because it’s a very addictive job. You don’t really feel like you’re going to work,” says Slight, 23, who is doing a master’s in film studies at Carleton.

Ottawa Rickshaws is the only company of its kind in Ottawa. It was created a decade ago, but Slight says it lost the good reputation it once had. But he, along with partner Marc Massie, hopes that will change.

“What we want to do is become community leaders and unify Ottawa in many ways.”

To do this, Ottawa Rickshaws is participating in public events such as the St. Patrick’s Day parade and has already planned a fundraiser for CHEO.

“It’s a very public job so we want to take advantage of that and give back to the community because I think there’s a lot of potential there that has yet to be tapped,” Slight says.

The company also strives to employs students. Slight says it’s a great student job because the hours are flexible and employees get exercise while working. Students pay rent to use the rickshaws but beyond that, they keep fare money as their earnings.

Slight wants to expand his company’s advertising base and is currently exploring a variety of options including advertisements on the rickshaws, the company website and runners’ uniforms.

Slight says the company is also working on revamping the tours to offer more entertaining rides with themes.

“As we move forward, and hopefully become successful with this, we’ll get more ideas because more doors will open for us.”

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