Sections

Roll call! Coney Island getting its rickshaws back!

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like The Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

And to think, you’ve been walking on the Boardwalk all these years like a sucker!

Two Jersey Shore rickshaw operators are bringing the iconic beach-side rolling chairs back to the Coney Island Boardwalk, which hasn’t had the man-powered taxis in nearly 45 years.

The new “Ocean Rolling Chairs” are being marketed as a summer job opportunity, as budding Coney cabbies can lease them and then pocket the dough they charge for rides along the Boardwalk.

“I wanted to bring back a piece of Coney Island history,” said the Brooklyn-born John Taimanglo, who runs the Ocean Rolling Chairs company in Atlantic City — and claims he’s a relative of Coney Island legend Charles Feltman, who, as we all know, practically invented the hot dog.

The original Ocean Rolling Chair Company operated on the Boardwalk from 1923, the year the iconic walkway was built, until the mid-1960s, according to the Parks Department’s website.

Taimanglo and business partner Christine Palumbo’s new blue-and-white rickshaws are four-feet wide and have room for three passengers. Cabbies will fork over $75 to operate them during the day, and $100 to roll them and night, and will charge $1 per block or $25 for a half-hour Boardwalk trip. That’s 50 times more than the $1 per hour rolling chair rides cost decades ago. The fleet of 30 chairs will be available every weekend through the summer starting Saturday, as allowed by a Parks Department permit. Hundreds of people signed up to push the fleet when Palumbo and Taimanglo hit the Boarwdalk last weekend to advertise the opportunity to “enjoy everything Coney Island has to offer while making great money.”

“We may have to turn people away next weekend because so many people are interested,” Palumbo said.

City officials are enthusiastic about the return of the rollers.

“Rolling chairs are a unique part of Coney Island’s history,” said Coney Island Development Corporation spokesman Kyle Sklerov. “Their return to the boardwalk — along with the opening of Scream Zone this summer — will bring more visitors back to Coney Island and play an important role in the ongoing revitalization of this legendary amusement area.”

The city has only approved the chairs for 28 days this year, but Palumbo hopes to return yea after year.

“We’re here on a temporary basis so far, but who knows what next year will bring,” Palumbo said.

Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like The Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Reader Feedback

sal from coney island says:
It's going to be a hard push on the new CONCRETE BOARDWALK.
It's not going to work out too well.
The surface is now too bumpy. It will be a shake, rattle & roll experience.
Great idea but get Parks to use the WOOD OR THE PLASTIC WOOD.
May 26, 2011, 7:38 am
tupelo35 from windsor terrace says:
ijust can't wait for the first rickshaw -jacking.
May 26, 2011, 12:14 pm
Mat from Marine Park says:
I am old enough to remember the originals: they were wicker woven seats and the operator used bicycle pedals. I often wonder if anyone has one in an antique collection.
May 26, 2011, 5:31 pm

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Don’t miss out!

Stay in touch with the stories people are talking about in your neighborhood:

Optional: Help us tailor our newsletters to you!