It seemed a sure bet when Gregg Zukowski opened a pedicab rental shop in Manhattan seven years ago.
With only about 60 pedicabs in all of New York City, the novelty of his tricycle alternative to midtown taxis — which he christened Revolution Rickshaws — allowed him to rent vehicles to a growing flock of drivers at a nifty profit.
But after a stretch of prosperity, the recession hit. With fewer tourists and other customers hailing pedicabs, the rental rates to drivers sagged. At age 36, Zukowski was in trouble.
Produced and edited by Diego Aparicio and Weilun Soon