Brownsville residents Crystal Marie Vazquez, from left, and Andrea Stover roll along Historic Market Square in downtown Brownsville Saturday as Mendo MMendo pedals on the new Brownsville Pedicab.

Tourists in bigger cities often rely on hired bicycle taxis, known as pedicabs, to complement walks through historical areas and to enjoy details that otherwise would be missed by driving.

Now, both residents and tourists of Brownsville’s historical downtown area are able to take advantage of pedicab transportation.

“We just decided that it was time for Brownsville to have this taxi type of service downtown because there hasn’t been anything like this,” said Gilbert Velasquez, one of the owners of the pedicab services. “Other larger cities have this, and some of these cities don’t even have the history that we have. It was just time for something like this.”

Brownsville Pedicab is a joint venture, locally owned and operated by Velasquez and Cynthia Lizardi Burlette. They both have a love and respect for Brownsville and a shared interest in establishing a service to impart their enthusiasm for downtown life and revitalization, a fact sheet for the business reads.

The pedicab is pedal-powered and encourages and supports the bicycle as an alternative transportation mode to the area.

”Pedicab is like a bicycle taxi, and they’ve been around for a while,” Velasquez said. “We started out with a couple of cabs, and we have more in order.  We are basically for downtown and the Mitte Cultural area and the college.

The pedicabs also offer historical tours and marketing needs by advertising on the bicycles.

“We have identified three routes for tours, and we’re kind of joining with the Brownsville Historical Association,” Velasquez said. “They have walking tours, and we are complementing with the pedicabs.”

The pedicabs run Thursday to Saturday during the evening until 2 a.m.

The pedicabs do not have a specific rate because they ride for tips only, Velasquez said.

For more information about the pedicab historical tours, call the Brownsville Historical Association at (956) 541-5560.

“We are just the missing link connecting patrons, residents and tourists to the downtown area,” Lizardi Burlette said.  “As downtown grows, we see change, development and we are hoping to follow right after it.”