The City’s Pedal-Pub Rideshare Ban is Unfair.

We only want what you gave Lyft, Uber, Citi, Bluebike, Cars2Go, ZipCar, Ford Go-Bike, Lime, Bird, Bolt, Jump, Scoot, Skip, and Spin.

Andrew Marshall
Sep 26 · 3 min read
Photo: Josh Friedman

September 20, 2019

Dear Honorable Members of the City Council,

As the Founder and CEO of Wū, the world’s first pedal-pub rideshare app, I’m committed to bringing safe, reliable access to democratized, multi-passenger, human-powered party vehicles to the people of this city (and the world). I strongly believe our plan to use those 12-person bicycles that tourists love so much will solve our city’s transportation crisis.

Because of this, I’m asking the City Council to please rescind the Pedal-Pub Rideshare Ban.

Wū believes that only a radically progressive transportation solution, i.e. not “a taxi with an iPhone charger” or “a heavier than normal bike” can fundamentally change urban transportation. I assure you, nothing is more radical than a pedal-pub. Designed in the Netherlands in the 1990’s, these twelve-person “Bierfiets” were built using the best of Dutch traditional centers of excellence: bicycles and partying.

Only now has the technology been available to connect users to a city-wide network of pedal-pub infrastructure. That’s where Wū comes in.

Our app connects “Wūsers” to pedal-pubs in our service area, which will cover the Brewery Blocks, University Avenue extending up to the new bar that used to be T.J. McDoyles, and the part of downtown the cops barricade on weekend nights. Eventually, Wū will service the financial district, retail centers, that distillery they opened in an old funeral parlor, the airport, and every street in between that doesn’t have hills.

We know this plan is ambitious. Wū is happy to address to the council’s list of concerns from our initial hearing.

  1. “Are you really proposing that we replace city buses with these things?”

Look, bus driving is a noble profession. But now, much like the village blacksmith, technology has made that job unneeded in modern society. We’re happy to offer bus drivers any of our New Operator Wūniversity training courses, completely free of charge.

2.) “Don’t people hate those things? I think people actually hate those things.”

Well, some people probably hate that our city is basically Sturgis (but instead of motorcycles it’s electric scooters, and instead of cool biker-types, it’s people who would rent an electric scooter). Also, it’s worth noting that Pedal-pubs are too heavy to throw in the river.

3.) “How will you avoid blocking emergency vehicles?”

I’ll spare you the details, but a training incident last month resulted in a pretty nasty three Pedal-pub pileup. Emergency vehicles had no problem getting around the fourth Pedal-pub, who was just rubbernecking. We gave the emergency responders a 50% off Wūpon because we value their contributions to our city.

That’s right, our city. Unlike the Silicon Valley-backed rideshares, Wū’s headquarters are right here, in the city’s emerging Warehouse District. We’re proud to be a part of this rapidly changing hub of culture, commerce, and nightclubbing. If you’re ever in the neighborhood for First Thursday or to pawn something, stop by and say hello!

If you do, you’ll see how the team applies our “Corporate Valwūs” to everything we do:

  • We can make the world a better place if we Slow Down and Pedal Together™.
  • Arranging a pedal-pub ride should be as simple as tapping an app (or a keg!)
  • Arbitrarily banning one rideshare company and allowing the others is bullshit.
  • Everyone deserves transportation that makes you say “woooooooooo!!!”

These are much more than words for us. We live these principles — from the instant we arrive at Wū HQ each afternoon to the moment we leave to catch happy hour at La Taberna (unless there’s a baseball game that night, in which case we go to O’Doyle’s). You’ll see these principles in our year-round summer dress code. And yes, we’re proud of our progressive paid time off policy that covers both bachelor and bachelorette parties.

The council wants us to simply accept this ban and “stay in our lane”. Well, “staying in our lane” simply isn’t something we can do, because these things are very hard to steer.


Preston A. Van de Berg
Founder, CEO, and Chief Wūsability Officer of Wū


Thanks to sarah james

Andrew Marshall

Written by

Andrew is a writer living in Portland, OR. @andrewtweeets



Medium humor. Large laughs.

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