Sometimes I wonder why our culture is so different from our ASEAN/asian neighbors. It can't be because we're an archipelago. Indonesia is an archipelago, but they have more in common with other ASEAN/asian countries than we do.
Take for example the auto rickshaw--the taxicab of asia. Look all over the continent and most, if not all, auto rickshaws are designed the same way: long and narrow.
The obvious example is Thailand's tuktuk, shown here:
See, long and narrow. The driver is up front while the passengers are at the back. Tuktuks are very popular in Bangkok.
But the design of the tuktuk is not confined to Thailand. They're found that way all around the world. Here are other auto rickshaws used in other countries:
Here, our very own auto rickshaw, the tricycle just had to be different. And in a bad way.
I said lack of foresight because the auto rickshaws around the world were made narrow for a purpose. So that they take up lesser space on the road.
A typical road/car lane is 2,400 mm wide, enough space to accomodate a standard-sized sedan. The Toyota Vios is 1,700 mm wide while the Innova is 1,770 mm wide.
A typical tuktuk is 1,250 mm wide. Hence, there's still 1,150 mm of space available for another tuktuk, or for another car to overtake and pass it.
On the other hand, typical tricycle is 1,600 mm wide! (that's almost the width of a Vios!) It means there's just 800 mm of space left. From experience, that's not enough space for me to overtake a tricycle in a single lane road.
I know I'll be committing political suicide if I even suggest this in the provincial board, but shouldn't we rethink granting tricycle franchises to tricycles with the present design?