Medan, KoverMagz – The presence of rickshaws is a concern. Will it be able to survive serving as a transportation mode in Indonesia, or Medan in particular, or to embellish the tourism side of this city, or will it be history soon?
There may have been different forms of rickshaws, sometimes called pedicabs or tricycles, in different parts of the world. Although, it is not the origin of rickshaws, because it was only in 1936 that the first passenger-carrying rickshaws hit the streets of Jakarta, some say that it is Indonesia that popularizes these vehicles. Rickshaws, called becak in Indonesia is as much a motif and symbol of Indonesia as the silhouette of a wayang kulit puppet or the unique handmade Batik clothes.
A cycle rickshaw or becak transports people and/or goods in small quantities; its fairly slim size makes it easy for becak to slip into alleys or small streets, which is the general features of urban infrastructures in Indonesia.
BECAK, born and banned.
Years ago, back in 1930s, the traders from China brought this transportation from their country to Indonesia, to be used as the carriage of their stuff. The name of Becak was originated from Hokkien words: be chia, which means “horse carriage”, because back in China, this transportation was drag by horse.
But only in 1960s – 1980s Becak gained it’s high popularity , because it provides door-to-door service that makes it easier for passengers to go anywhere they want (especially if they bring along a lot of their things). The design and style varies from city to city, but in most parts of Java, the passengers sit up front, with an uninterrupted view of the busy streets. However in 1972 becak have been blamed for causing traffic congestion and, consequently, banned from most parts of Jakarta. That, and the philosophy that becak might represent “human exploitation of humans”.