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Tuktuk sightseeing tours raising money for 2 Lancaster nonprofits
20170607 MARY ELLEN WRIGHT
Food-tour company plans tuktuk-vehicle sightseeing, sampling tours of Lancaster
The tuktuk has begun rolling through the streets of Lancaster — for a good cause.
During the month of June, visitors can take sightseeing tours of Lancaster city in the bright red, three-wheeled electric vehicle in exchange for donations to two local nonprofits.
Tuktuk Lancaster plans to begin charging for sightseeing and food-tasting tours sometime in the future. But Timm Wenger, co-owner of the vehicle and the company with his wife, Kristina, said the company is still awaiting a necessary certification from the Pennsylvania Utility Commission.
“We need a PUC license if we are going to charge for our tickets,” Wenger says. “(The commission) is not familiar with the (tuktuk) vehicle type, so they are needing to gather information. … They have to determine how to designate it.”
While waiting for that certification, Wenger said, he decided to start offering just the sightseeing tours as a fundraiser for Church World Service’s immigration and refugee program and Music for Everyone.
"They are both very strong organizations that are doing positive things in the community that we have appreciated and supported through the years," Wenger said.
“Riders can reserve tickets online at no cost to save their seat, and when they arrive at the starting point before the tour, we can process their donations by cash or check or we can process it to the nonprofits’ websites,” Wenger said.
“This will continue through the month of June,” he added.
The tuktuk started its tours this past Friday.
“We have ongoing sponsors who we have committed to promote throughout the season,” Wenger said. “We’re also just ready to get started and be out there.”
The Church World Service immigration program helps immigrants and refugees settle in Lancaster County, learn English and prepare for jobs. Music for Everyone raises awareness and resources to strengthen the role music plays in schools and communities.
Those taking the June sightseeing tours of Lancaster city in the tuktuk can donate to either organization. Wenger suggests a minimum $15 donation for weekday tours and $20 on the weekends.
The 30-minute tours, which take visitors to various “not-to-miss” sites around the city, Wenger said, begin and end at the Hotel Lancaster, at the corner of North Queen and East Chestnut streets.
Wenger and his family first rode in a tuktuk during a trip to Guatemala. He said the vehicles are used as common transportation in other countries.
The electric vehicles are also used to give visitor tours in such cities as Scottsdale, Arizona; Reykjavík, Iceland; Budapest, Hungary; Paris, France; and Amsterdam in the Netherlands.
The local tuktuk's by-donation sightseeing tours are run several times a day on weekdays and weekends. The six-passenger, open-sided tuktuk has a rain cover available, so tours can still be run in inclement weather. Wenger is one of the tour guides for the vehicle.
The Wengers also run Taste the World, which offers walking-and-food-tasting tours of Lancaster restaurants, and Kids and Cultures, which provides children with storytelling, camps and hands-on cultural-learning activities.
To learn more about the tuktuk tours, visit www.tuktuklancaster.com.
[© 2017 LancasterOnline]
Experience Lancaster City on a tuktuk!
TukTuk tours to show sights, sounds AND tastes of Lancaster in a whole new way
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