Two new attractions are looking likely to greet visitors to Seaside Heights this summer.
The borough council, at its meeting Wednesday, voted in favor of allowing a pedacycle attraction to operate in town for the 2018 summer season. The council also voted to solicit bids for a boardwalk train attraction. Both ideas were proposed over the last month.
The bid solicitation for the boardwalk train is mainly a formality. One company is interested in operating the train – which will run on borough property from the south end of the boardwalk to Casino Pier – and is expected to be the only bidder. The trackless train would be a children’s attraction, similar to those often found in malls. The pedacycle attraction is a 15-person bicycle that stops at local bars and restaurants, and is propelled by all of its riders peddling at once. A driver steers the vehicle and can also activate a small motor, if required.
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The pedacycle ride has already taken off in Asbury Park, and the business’s owner, a Toms River resident, wanted Seaside Heights to be next.
In Asbury Park, the Asbury Pedacycle business has been a hit since it debuted. According to the business’s website, the cycle moves between 5-8 m.p.h. and stops at a number of bars through the city. There is no alcohol allowed on the cycle itself, but food and soft drinks can be brought on board. A 90 minute ride costs $30 per person, or the entire bike can be rented for $400. It has been rented by individuals out for a ride and even corporations on retreat.
Bicycle seats line both sides and passengers sit opposite each other and work together to pedal the vehicle through town. A trained operator is in charge of starts and stops, and steering the cycle.
For the trackless train, its operators have proposed charging $3 per person and running from 12 noon to 8 p.m., seven days per week. In exchange for allowing the train to operate, they would offer 20 percent of the attraction’s profits to the borough. The final financial details will be decided through the bidding process.
The train would actually be a wheeled vehicle with four cars that would travel at no more than 5 m.p.h. It would be similar to “trains” that operate inside shopping malls, like the one that currently carries children around the Freehold Raceway Mall.
“We’re probably talking about a four-car unit, so that would bring it to about 24 feet long,” said Sam Vendola, owner of the company that manufactures the train vehicle.