The restaurants, bars, clubs and special event venue have increased vehicle and pedestrian traffic along Polk and the surrounding streets in downtown Amarillo.

As cars fill the street parking spaces -- typically along Polk, Taylor and Tyler streets, between Fourth and 10th avenues -- but throughout all of downtown Amarillo, Marco Camp brought in a service to help people get around.

"We thought, wouldn't it be cool if there was a pedicab service here in Amarillo?" he said. "We bought two (pedicabs to start), then we bought two more."

Camp initially talked the idea over with his business partner when it was settled that a ballpark would be built on Buchanan Street. He seized the opportunity to start early as downtown began to flourish. As that part of Amarillo developed, so has his business, Triple Crown Pedi Cab.

Camp opened in mid-April. He said though Amarilloans were initially unsure about the service, people have become receptive of the bicycle transportation business.

"At first people were really weird about it because they hadn't seen them before, especially people who hadn't gone to big cities and seen them. Now people know the drill -- whistle us down, flag us down, chase us down -- the whole bit," he said.

Four bicyclists operate Friday and Saturday evenings from 6 to 10 p.m. or thereabouts. They also pull their bikes out for special events.

Camp said, "We hit any kind of major events, like the Chamber Barbecue, which was fantastic. And if there was ever to be another Polk Street block party, we'd definitely do that -- any kind of big or private events (downtown)."

Camp expects to increase the number of bicyclists on the streets by the time the ballpark opens.

There is no set price list; Camp makes his money from advertising, while the bicyclists make their money from tips.

"This is strictly tips. It's whatever the ride is worth to people," he said. "It's worked really, really well because if you tell people five bucks, they pay five bucks but if you tell them what it's worth to them, they'll hand you a twenty."

At this time, he doesn't require bicyclists give him a portion of their tips or pay to use the pedicabs, but that may change.

"The original plan was to lease the cabs for $10 a night or something like that, but since it's new, I wanted them to be a part of it and help me grow," he said. "So right now, they don't pay a lease fee. Even if I did, that would be the most that I would charge. I would never get into their tips."

Camp, who has lived in Amarillo since he was 11, said he didn't dream Amarillo's downtown would become a bustling territory where a pedicab business could thrive.

"I love doing this. I love downtown and I love to see what downtown is doing," he said. "I love the way it's growing, I love the way it's changed and I'm proud to be a part of that."

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