If you’re wandering around downtown Raleigh, you might notice, as I did, this new golf cart. I called them to get more info and here’s what I have so far. Most of this is from an email they sent in response to my voicemail.
Lhavi (pronounced La Vee) is a micro-transit advertisement company “that provides a fast and convenient way to travel the city center using environmentally friendly vehicles. Currently testing out the market for the following downtown districts: Glenwood South, Capital District, Capital District, Fayetteville St. District and Moore square (More vehicles being provided August/Sept).”
There is no fee to ride, but you are encouraged to tip the drivers, whom are also “travel advisers,” Lhavi tells me, “with resources to add even more value to your trip.”
Eric Lamb, the city’s transportation planning manager, tells me that Lhavi operates under the same rules as rickshaws due to the tip structure. “Otherwise, they’d qualify as taxis and require a license from the city.” Golf carts are not automatically street legal, but they can operate on public streets as long as they’re licensed by the DMV, which has some requirements for them. (Might be the low-speed vehicle listed here, but that’s just my guess!)
Lhavi also offers advertisement space. If you’ve tried riding it, please share your experience in the comments!