One night, months ago now, I was in the Market and spotted a large glass storefront-style window that opened on a mostly empty shop floor with several of these yellow bike cabs parked in it. I couldn't tell through the window what the logo on them was, or if I could, "3i" meant so little to me that the information slipped right out of my head. I thought I'd look it up later, and figure out what they were about, since I'd never actually seen one in use.
That was quite a while back, and I didn't see the cabs, or think about them again, until I was on my way to work a few mornings ago and found myself behind this one, near Overbrook:
So I took a picture. It turned off the path shortly afterward. And I was still curious - I've only seen one of these so far, but there was a fleet in that strange shop space in the Market, so what's the deal? (I know that Toronto has bike cabs that are paid for by the city, so you can just hop in one, go wherever you want, and hop back out. I think it's brilliant. But as I'd never seen these yellow creatures beetling around Ottawa, I wasn't sure if that's what they were, back when I first saw them. In fact, I wasn't sure if they actually worked or were some kind of mockup.)
And since here I am now with a picture featuring the URL staring me in the face, I looked up the 3i Summit. Turns out it's run by Leadership Ottawa, which I've come across before. And after a little digging, I came across an article from last November about them - with the perhaps overly optimistic title "Green Transportation Comes to Ottawa." They're 3iCycles, and they are, I guess, something along the lines of Toronto's bike cabs. And they apparently hit the streets in spring of 2010, although this is the first one I've actually seen in action. Maybe I just haven't been downtown so much? Or maybe they're not catching on? Has anyone else seen one? What's the deal? Maybe this one is being driven around now because the summit is coming up on November 27th and so it's really more of a moving billboard than an actual working cab?
Maybe I'm being too cynical about them. Here. Have a picture of one with a baby in it.