Pedicab Limits: Let the Free Market Decide

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This NY Sun editorial weighs in on the proposed pedicab restrictions:

Imagine if the long-distance bus industry were allowed to set a limit on the number of airline flights in and out of New York City, or if the beer industry were allowed to place a cap on the number of bottles of wine that could be sold in the city’s restaurants and liquor stores. Something just as outrageous is afoot in the New York City Council, where the speaker, Christine Quinn, is, at the behest of the gasoline-powered taxicab lobby, backing legislation that would impose a limit on the number of pedal-powered pedicabs serving New Yorkers.

In the 1920s the city had as many as 21,000 taxi drivers. A 1937 law set a limit on the license that eventually settled at 11,787, and even adding a small number of licenses to accommodate the city’s population growth has always been a huge political fight. The result is that taxis are scarce at rush hours, in the rain, on New Year’s Eve, and in the boroughs outside Manhattan. In limiting pedicabs, the City Council would repeat the medallion mistake, ensuring scarcity and creating a new class of medallion holders with an interest that runs counter to that of consumers.

Photo: kerfuffle & zeitgeist/Flickr

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