New York City Council Moves to Expand Regulation of Pedicabs to Avoid Rate Gouging By on October 23, 2012

Approximately two years ago the New York City Council imposed comprehensive regulations upon pedicabs which had been operating with almost no rules and endangering the safety of riders, pedestrians and others.  The closest those regulations came to controlling pedicab rates was requiring that a rate card be posted, but not limiting how much could be charged.  But with a Texas family being charged $442.00 for a 14-block ride in a pedicab, that could change.  Whereas before pedicabs had the option of charging by time, the law may be changed to prohibit all other formulas and to set a mandatory fee schedule

A bill has been introduced at the City Council to amend the Administrative Code of the City of New York, requires that a sign be conspicuously posted on the vertical panels on each side of the exterior of the pedicab indicating in letters and numbers at least two inches high: (i) the dollar amount to be charged each passenger per minute(s) or fraction of a minute; (ii) that a gratuity is not required; and (iii) that no taxes or additional fees may be charged.  The rate for each additional passenger may be no more than the rate for the first passenger.

The length of time is measured by a mandated timer, and the pedicab operator’s use of that timer is strictly circumscribed.  Specifically, the law states that each pedicab driver shall activate such timer when all passengers are seated and the pedicab ride commences, and shall stop the timer when the pedicab has reached its destination and the pedicab is at a full stop.

The Department of Consumer Affairs shall create a pedicab rate card that must be given to all passengers before they board the pedicab.  This card lists the rates and other information, including what customers can do if they wish to make a complaint (ie. they can call 311).

The new proposal would eliminate per block charges, per avenue charges, and minimum charges, per person or otherwise.

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