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September, 2001

1. Tricycles
More tricycles.
2. More tricycles
Tricycle stop.
3. A tricycle stop
The view from inside.
4. The view from inside

A common form of transportation on Bohol is the motorized tricycle. Tricycles are manufactured locally by many small shops. Although the pattern is fairly consistent, there are many variations from one shop to another. The tricycle is built around a small motorcycle, generally with a 100cc engine. The buyer supplies the motorcycle, and the cab is built to order to meet the needs of each individual. Similar tricycles are used on other islands, but I am told that the basic design varies a bit from place to place.

Although some tricycles are for personal use, and there are even tricycle buses, the most common tricycles are used as taxi cabs. They can hold a surprisingly large number of people, though not comfortably. You usually see two people on the passenger seat, with perhaps a third sitting on the back of the motorcycle. (However, for large foreigners it is uncomfortable to sit two abreast on the passenger seat.) We have seen whole families, 5-6 people, riding on a tricycle taxi. The taxis also have a small cargo area in the rear which we have seen filled with large bags of animal feed and other heavy loads. The number of tricycle taxi permits in Tagbilaran City is limited to about 2,000, to reduce congestion.

The taxis charge a fixed rate of 4 pesos per person (about 8¢) for rides within Tagbilaran City. Although it is possible to hire them for longer trips, they are not comfortable for us, and we haven't traveled far in them. As you can see from the photos, the tricycles are not strongly made, there are no seat belts, and safety was not a major concern during their design and construction. Still, the horsepower is limited and the streets are congested, so speeds are quite low. The posted speed limit downtown is 20 kilometers per hour, about 12 mph, and the taxis are seldom able to reach even this speed. We haven't seen any accidents -- so far.

Tricycles are also designed and used for a variety of other purposes, especially for carrying cargo. They may be used to haul building materials, beer, livestock, and even a large freezer. In any case, they are called on to do much more than the motorcycle manufacturer had in mind for their little 100cc engines.

Most of the tricycle taxis carry a religious slogan of some kind on the back of the cab. The most popular seem to be "In God We Trust" and "Love God." Some of the slogans that I found particularly interesting include:

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