Helicak, is a type of pedicab. The name was a combination of the words helicopter and becak. The vehicle was named as such, since somewhat it looked like a combination of both means of transportation. Helicak was first launched in Jakarta in March 1971 during the then-governor Ali Sadikin’s administration.
As in pedicabs, passengers sat in helicak’s cabin, which usually had an iron frame and a fiberglass body. The closed cabin protected the passengers from heat, rain and dust. However, the cabin can only fit two adult passengers, while the driver drove the vehicle on the back.
The vehicle’s engine and main body was Lambretta scooter with a 150 CC engine imported from Italy. However, this vehicle was considered unsafe because once an accident occurred, the passengers likely became the most injured victims. In addition, helicak drivers likely caught heatstroke and exhaustion due to exposure of changing weather; from scorching sun to heavy rain. As such, transportation companies preferred to use bajaj, which later stole the popularity of helicak. Helicak operation was eventually prohibited by the Jakarta administration in 1987.