Pedicabs Protest New Regulations

Pedicabs took to the streets yesterday to protest the City’s new regulations on New York’s greenest for-hire transportation industry. In a press release, The Green Transport Association says that City Council Speaker Christine Quinn "dealt pedicabs a crushing blow capping our number at 325 city-wide" — a reported 35 percent reduction in the pedicab workforce:

Pedicabs are New York’s only zero-emission livery service. There has never been a fatality on a pedicab in the industry’s twelve unregulated years. Pedicabs pose no threat to the value of yellow cab medallions. We demand that the city council amend its regulation law to remove the cap and bans on pedicabs. Our leaders must encourage, not crush solutions to our fossil fuel dependency.

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In the News:

  • Pedicabs Roll Down Broadway, Picking Up Tourists And Pissing Off Cabbies (NYPress)
  • Pedicab Owners Protest Pending Regulation (City Room)
  • Pedicab Drivers Ride in Protest (AMNY)
  • Pedicab News

Photos: NYCArthur/Flickr

  • ddartley

    I’ll repeat it:

    The new pedicab law endangers the ability of people getting married (or holding any special event) in New York City to use pedicabs instead the standard, polluting, wasteful limousine.

    The pedicab law enables even low-ranking City employees to bar pedicabs from any place, at pretty much any time. Using pedicabs for special events like weddings (like my wife and I did, much to our guests’ (and to onlookers’) delight) requires SCHEDULING. If there’s always a risk that pediabs can be barred from an area with little notice, it puts a serious dent in New Yorkers’ ability to make a more responsible (and tasteful, say I) choice than limos or other awful means.

    I wrote that and called it in to my council member and others, and they were like, “thanks for sharing, shmuck.”

    I’m sorry to see that the “bar pedicabs from certain areas” provisions are NOT among the four major provisions the Pedicab Owners are specifically fighting against.

  • John Hunka

    At a time when our elected officials should be doing everything possible to discourage the use of motor vehicles and encourage forms of transporation that do not emit greenhouse gases, the legislation to limit the number of pedicabs clearly demonstrates that our elected officials lack the wisdom to effectively address climate change. It is discouraging and disappointing.

  • Eric

    All those calorie-burning pedicabs just get in the way of the giant Mideast-oil-guzzling SUV in which Christine Quinn gets chauffeured around NYC, on our dime.

  • M

    City streets conjested with smelly, noisy, toxic automobiles, taking up excessive square footage: each car often transporting only one or two people. Gridlock, horn honking, rage, anxiety.
    Bring in the pedicabs. Allow electric assist (less toilsome for drivers). Smiling faces in the open air (covered in bad weather), moving freely about our fascinating and beautiful city, occupying a realistic amount of space. Conjestion relief. Noise and air pollution relief.
    Cars are destroying the atmosphere, destroying the planet. An average of 114 people die each day in car crashes in this country.
    We need to rethink our approach to personal transportation.
    Allow pedicabs to grow.

  • Dave

    Since pedicabs transport people for hire, they should be licensed, regulated and the drivers bonded and insured. Smart move.
    They’ll have to follow the vehicle and traffic laws like everyone else. The pedicabs should be inspected yearly to check tires, braking systems, structural integrity of the vehicle and so forth.
    Like “gypsy” cabs and “dollar” vans, or even horse-drawn carriages, pedicabs are an essential part of the street scene.
    Keeping them regulated is a part of growing up in the big city. Those that play the game will soon reap its rewards.

  • steve

    David, I agree that safety-related regulation of pedicabs make sense, but I don’t know where you are coming from with the statement that “they’ll have to follow the vehicle and traffic laws like everyone else.” Pedicabs were doing so as a general matter already and that was not the point of the legislation as far as I know. What is most objectionable is the cap on the number of pedicabs, which was completely unnecessary, serves only to promote taxis over pedicabs and was a dumb move–not a “smart move.”

  • TK

    Those that win the license lottery will be rewarded.
    Also stay the ffff out of my bike lane!

  • steve

    TK, pedicabs in the bike lane have never bothered me. I encounter them most often heading uptown on 6th and 8th, they are generally friendly and slow, we pass them, that’s it. Where do you encounter them that creates such a prblem? biane have never bothere

  • We have an excellent answer to the pedicab industry, with an insurance policy that responds to the Dep’t of Consumer Affairs’ requirements. Our policy is written with an “A” rated Pennsylvania insurance company, with NO liability deductible! We can insure any number of pedicabs you own, and can even include fire and theft insurance for your bikes with just $500 deductible. This week we had an onslaught of business from New York with the new law, and most of our clients even continued their policy, even though the law is now “on hold”. We have insured pedicabs throughout the US for more than 10 years. Call us for insurance rates weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. California time zone at 800-821-9161 or 805-495-6999 ext 105. We can send certificates for the City via overnight mail.

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