A portrait of his bird ‘Pooh’ Photo by Clara-Sophia Daly
A portrait of his bird, Pooh. Photo by Clara-Sophia Daly.

Kai Bansner has lived on 25th Street with his wife, Natasha, their cat, Ella, and their bird, Pooh, for 23 years. The former software engineer now spends much of his time working on the design of his three-wheel bicycle cabs. He uses his engineering skills to program bluetooth speakers into the pedi-cabs to create a ride that is more enjoyable for passengers. 

On a recent Thursday afternoon, Bansner drove his rickshaw-style pedi-cab into Lilac Alley, a two-block alley that stretches from 24th to 26th street and is sandwiched between Mission and Capp streets. Bansner built his first cab in Indonesia, and has since built two more versions, which he has kept for his mural tours. His bird, Pooh, who accompanies him on some of his rides, is also from Indonesia. 

Bansner said that when he was 10, his family traveled a lot in Indonesia and rode the cabs from the station to their lodgings.  “As I wanted to get out of the house more and more in touch with the neighborhood, I thought I’d like to try a bicycle business.”

Kai Bansner with his custom-built rickshaw in the Mission’s Lilac Alley. Photo by Clara-Sophia Daly.

Clara-Sophia Daly

Clara-Sophia Daly is a multimedia storyteller and reporter who has worked both in print and audio. A graduate of Skidmore College where she studied International Affairs and Media/Film studies, she enjoys...

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  1. This Cab is a great idea.
    Love when good old Yankee know how find a need and fills it.
    And enjoying these Murals instead of worrying where you step , it’s a win win all the way around…
    Applause to you and your great idea

    1. Two can fit easily. And yes, Kai is strong enough to pedal two around the Mission – I’ve seen him do it!

    2. Yes two people fit it this becak very comfortably. I’ve made a number of changes maximize the seat area beyond the size of a traditional Jogya style Becak.

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