Becoming a rickshaw runner can be an extremely rewarding experience if you’re looking for a change of pace, to challenge yourself, seeking an exciting experience, or simply want a fun and liberating summer job.

We’re always looking to hire bright and eager student-aged people to operate our rickshaws. Go through the following FAQ to see if this is the right job for you, or start the application process at the bottom of the page!


While we do test potential runners on their ability to control a loaded rickshaw while travelling up and down hills (its a safety thing!), you don’t need to be a triathlete, body builder, or former marine to operate a rickshaw.

In fact, operating a rickshaw engages a unique combination of muscles that everybody finds challenging the first time they operate a rickshaw. It takes several weeks of practice to really feel rickshaw-fit regardless of one’s initial level of athleticism.

Our rickshaw runners aren’t employees, they’re contractors. They are obligated to pay us a weekly rental fee for the use of the rickshaw, and in exchange are able to keep all of their fares for themselves. Our rickshaw runners earn what they put into the job– that is, a friendly rickshaw runner who works hard to attract business and maintain a presence on the street can make a comfortable summer salary.

We always say: A rickshaw runner who is committed to the job can easily make it their only job for the summer.

Rickshaw runners are expected to work during week day afternoons, based on a provided shift schedule. As long as these hours are fulfilled, a rickshaw runner has freedom to dictate any additional hours they wish to work.

It is almost essential for rickshaw runners to choose to work weekend nights, providing spontaneous rickshaw rides for Ottawa’s night life patrons, and attending Ottawa’s many summer festivals. While this may seem to be the death of your social life, most rickshaw runners find it more fun getting paid to run people from bar to bar than to actually attend the bars themselves.

While it isn’t essential to live downtown, it is a huge advantage to live within Ottawa city proper. With late night shifts sometimes ending at 3am, it can be difficult and daunting to attempt to make a long trip home on the night bus or in a car. Since these night shifts are optional, you may find yourself opting out of key money-making nights simply because the journey is discouraging.

Some runners choose to make temporary housing arrangements with friends who travel home for the summer just so that they can be closer to the ByWard Market.

You can operate your rickshaw anywhere in Ottawa that a car can legally travel, as well as some parks, courtyards, and private properties. Most of our operations take place in and around the ByWard Market, however certain events in the summer attract runners to Preston Street, Lansdowne Park, Lebreton Flats, and beyond. If you’re lucky, a passenger will ask you to take them far far away, leading to a rewarding fare.
Safety is our top priority, and we implement a strict set of policies that are mandatory for our runners to follow. These include always operating the rickshaws in a sober, rested state, and in a controlled manner.

When working at night we encourage communication and team work. Our runners naturally develop an inclination to look out for each other and ensure everyone is accounted for before locking up for the night.

Because of these procedures, we have an exceptional track record for runner safety.

We work hard to foster a non-competitive environment at Ottawa Rickshaws. Runners are expressly prohibited from attempting to outshine each other, and the team mentality that we nurture encourages runners to look out for each other and ensure that everyone is getting their fair share of business.

With this said, some days some runners get more rides than others. Provided you maintain a positive attitude and continue to bring your best self to work, everyone’s success evens out throughout the summer.

This is a bit of a tricky question.

If the weather is rainy, you aren’t expected to operate your rickshaw, and you may find it to be a good opportunity to take a day off and get some rest. Some dedicated runners will still take their rickshaw out on a rain day and camp out in a dry sheltered place to wait for the rain to subside. Sometimes they are rewarded for this effort, and sometimes they go home empty-handed.

When it rains for a week on end, it can be discouraging. When this is the case, it is best to attempt to work a few rainy days or nights, or put in a double effort the following week. A runner who doesn’t let bad weather harm their morale will find that by the end of the summer the good days far outweigh the bad.

May to Labour Day Weekend is our official season, and the period of time that you are responsible to pay rent.

During the off-season you may find you still want to operate a rickshaw. From September to April, you may operate your rickshaw provided you are in good standing (no outstanding rent) and have permission from management.

If you need to terminate your contract with us prior to the completion of the summer season, we ask for 2 weeks notice, during which you remain responsible for your rickshaw rent while we seek a replacement runner.
We allow every runner one rent-free week in the summer. Some choose to take a vacation, while others choose to apply it to a week that they were unable to work due to bad weather, outside responsibilities, or simply because they needed a rest.

To Start the Application Process: