The rickshaw, long one of the most popular forms of public transport in Asia, is nearing its centenary.
GV ZOOM IN TO SV passenger boards trishaw in street - trishaw sets off
CU & SV trishaw pedalled along road (3 shots)
Travel shot??? China Town
SV trishaw comes to a halt and passenger pays fare (2 shots)
SV trishaw owner wipes brow and takes drink from small boy (3 shots)
SV trishaws along roadway (3 shots)
Initials OS/1210 OS/1227
VISNEWS cameraman WILLIE PHUA shot this film in Singapore, showing the remaining trishaws at work.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The rickshaw, long one of the most popular forms of public transport in Asia, is nearing its centenary. It was first used in China as a two-wheeled cart pulled by a man, but today most have a bicycle attached and the name has changed to "trishaw"
But the motor age has doomed the rickshaw and trishaw. In Singapore, for example, there were once 20,000 trishaw operators -- today, only 3,000. And most of those are kept going by the tourist trade.
SYNOPSIS: The trishaw, long one of the most popular forms of public transport in Asia, began life as a rickshaw -- a two wheeled cart pulled by a man. But today the motor car has doomed the trishaw to extinction -- in Singapore, for example, there were once 20,000 trishaw riders. Today, there are only about 3,000.
Most of the remaining trishaws in Singapore are regarded as tourist attractions, and it is only this trade that keeps them going. Even native Singaporeans have taken to the car.
It's a hard existence for riders like Leong Ah-soh. He's 54 years old, and has known no other life but carrying people and goods around Singapore's sweltering streets -- usually for about GBP1.25 sterling (Three U.S.A. dollars) a day. And he works most days.
A recent survey among trishaw riders found that they lived a hand-to-mouth existence and all, it seemed, were incorrigible gamblers. Their sons and daughters however, are not likely to take up the life -- when they grow up they'll probably be found behind the wheel of a motor car instead.