Auto rickshaws are a common means of public transportation in many countries in the world. Also known as a three-wheeler, Samosa, tempo, tuk-tuk, trishaw, autorick, bajaj, rick, tricycle, mototaxi, baby taxi or lapa in popular parlance, an auto rickshaw is a usually three-wheeled cabin cycle for private use and as a vehicle for hire. It is a motorized version of the traditional pulled rickshaw or cycle rickshaw. Auto rickshaws are an essential form of urban transport in many developing countries, and a form of novelty transport in many developed countries. However, in some parts of Europe they remain an essential mode of transportation, notably Italy’s.
Auto rickshaws of Southeast Asia started from the knockdown production of the Daihatsu Midget which had been introduced in 1957.
Japan had been exporting three-wheelers to Thailand since 1934. Moreover, The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications of Japan donated about 20,000 used three-wheelers to Southeast Asia. In Japan, three-wheelers went out of use in the latter half of the 1960s.
An auto rickshaw is generally characterized by a sheet-metal body or open frame resting on three wheels, a canvas roof with drop-down sides, a small cabin in the front of the vehicle for the driver (sometimes called an auto-wallah), and seating space for up to three passengers in the rear. Newer models are generally fitted with a compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel scooter version of a 200 cc four-stroke engine, with handlebar controls instead of a steering wheel.
There are tuk-tuks in several Kenyan towns. Using them is somewhat cheaper than ordinary taxis. However, tuk-tuks cannot operate in mountainous towns, which are common in Kenya. Fierce competition with Boda-bodas (bicycle taxis) and Matatus (minibuses) hinders popularity of Tuk-tuks, especially within the interior of Kenya. While they may not be widely found in Kenya, they are numerous in the coastal regions, which are less mountainous. For example, in the town of Malindi they offer an economical and convenient mode of transportation.
Tuk-tuks are also common in Ethiopia and are becoming common in Tanzania, particularly in the outer areas of Dar es Salaam. In Tanzania and Ethiopia they are known as "Bajaj" or "Bajajis", after the Bajaj Auto company which manufactures many of them. Since 2009, tuk-tuks have become common in Maputo, Mozambique.
In Egypt, auto rickshaws are called toktok (Egyptian Arabic: توك توك pronounced [ˈtoktok], plural: تكاتك takātek [tæˈkæːtek]); they are widely used as taxis in poorer neighborhoods of the capital, and have become a popular symbol for lower class Egyptians, although they are banned from the streets of wealthier neighborhoods. Deposed president Mohamed Morsi (June 2012-July 2013) in his opening speech addressed the Tuk-Tuk (toktok) drivers as a symbol of the lower class population, but his political rivals and mass media considered it as a mean of emotional deception for the masses by rendering what could be a promise to legalize their status.
In Madagascar, man-pulled rickshaws are a common form of transportation in a …