Culture Listings

Woorides goes the extra mile to bring people together

Victoriahope MCAULIFFE

On the fourth floor of the Printer’s Building in Worcester, the WooRides team plans for the future of the budding business with excitement and joy. 

WooRides, the first pedicab service to grace the streets of Worcester, was started by the Soofi family – Imrana, Shahbaz and Ali – and has expanded to include friends Yaovi Tsomana, Josh Averett and Valentine Beluchukwu. If you attended The Taste of Shrewsbury Street, you may have seen them flying up and down the street, pulling their chariot-like cabs effortlessly behind them.

WooRides was born of the team’s love for the city and the people in it. Imrana Soofi proudly said, “If I had to do it all over again and pick somewhere to raise my children, I would raise them in Worcester. And I would raise them in Main South.” As natives of the Main South area, Shahbaz, Ali and Imrana Soofi have been able to enjoy the diversity of Worcester firsthand. When asked why they chose to start their business in Worcester, the response was unanimous: “Worcester is home.”

The goal of WooRides is to bring the human experience back to transportation; the service allows time for people to slow down and enjoy the moment. Averett reflected on one of his favorite experiences as a pedicab driver, “One of the best rides I took part in was a couple who decided to take a pedicab from the bar they were at and then to a restaurant up the street.  Just to slow things down a bit.”

So where can you find this eclectic group of entrepreneurs? The company that prides itself on its sustainable values as a “zero carbon emissions company” has chosen to focus on Worcester’s bustling nightlife hotspots to launch the business. You will be able to find drivers zooming around Water, Green and Shrewsbury streets Thursday-Saturday nights from 8 p.m. -1 a.m. When asked if there was a maximum distance cut off for pedicab rides, Ali Soofi replied, “Everything is pretty much within three miles of each other. So, we won’t go over that limit.”

There was one instance where a dedicated WooRider went above and beyond for his passengers. Beluchukwu gave a pedicab ride from Shrewsbury Street to Kelley Square during the Taste of Shrewsbury Street event. According to Shahbaz Soofi, “We had only intended to stick to Shrewsbury Street and the surrounding area.”

The best way to contact WooRides currently is by visiting  Facebook.com/WooRides. However, you can visit woorides.com or call (508) 966-8439 for additional information. WooRides provide services at public events, where the fee starts at $5 and increases an additional $5 for every quarter mile traveled. If you are interested in booking WooRides for a private event, contact them for a price quote via Facebook or phone.  WooRides is currently working on an app, so expect that to debut in the next couple of months.

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