For the Best in Transportainment, Try a Pedicab

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This week’s Time Out New York offers advice on the best ways to navigate the city (all of them sans private automobile). In addition to tips on cheating the MTA out of a subway fare and knowing when the bus is better, TONY explains that pedicabs aren’t just for tourists.

“I’ll get you anywhere in midtown in under ten minutes, or I’ll pay you,”
says Gregg Zukowski, driver and owner of pedicab company Revolution
Rickshaws. “For example, Grand Central to Penn Station takes me seven
minutes.” What if there’s gridlock? “Then it might take eight,” he
brags.

“It’s ‘transportainment,’” says New York Pedicab Association president
Peter Meitzler. “It’s cheaper than a limo but just as much personal
attention. I like to think of it as a pedal-powered limo service.”

Just don’t breathe too deeply — think about all those fumes pedi
passengers must inhale as they zip around idling cars. “I know, I
know,” sighs Zukowski. “It’s a bitch. I’m trying to get those
automobiles banned.”

Photo: ultrahi/Flickr

  • ddartley

    The argument that pedicabs clog streets is bastard bullsh#%.

    Take a mass of traffic in Manhattan. Add pedicabs. You’ve just added more persons in the same amount of space, in a way cars never could. That’s UNclogging.

    Quinn, and anti-pedicab pols: CARS congest. Stupids.

  • Magnus

    There have been several studies showing that drivers and passengers breathe in more pollution than cyclists. Amongst other things, this is because the air intakes on cars are at tailpipe level, whereas cyclists breathe in the air several feet higher up.

    Anyway, the linked study is just one of many:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?itool=abstractplus&db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=abstractplus&list_uids=11712590

    Get out an ride! The more people ride, the cleaner the air will be…

  • Steve

    Thanks Magnus–this finding is counterintuitive to me as a layperson but a welcome relief!

  • Pedicabs reduce congestion, save time in congested traffic and are zero emission. You can ride in a bike cab in any of dozens of US cities -I own and operate a pedalcab in Orlando, Florida.

  • Hilary

    So this means that cyclists and pedestrians on the Hudson River Greenway – a few feet below the adjacent Henry Hudson Parkway – are just at tailpipe level. Good reason not to add trucks and their particulates to the effluent, wouldn’t you say, TA?

  • Sickandtired

    This is a reposted from another pedicab article:

    Pedicabs in NYC are nothing but common criminals. They hustle tourists, flaunt every traffic law in the book, and I’ve even had a few offer me pot at Columbus Circle. I’m all about being green (environment, not pot), but to walk into the Park every day and be harassed and solicited is ridiculous. I’ve even seen one of them grab a womans ass. You don’t hear the pedicab associations trying to reign those guys in do you? No, because they don’t care.

    They mobilize very quickly when they are threatened with possible regulation that might force them to actually have insurance and follow rules, yet they don’t care about drugs, sexual harrassment, or clogging up every sidewalk, street, and park south of 59th St.

    It is painfully obvious that they are fighting regulation because that will bring their free ride to an end. They’ll have to abide by rules (very innocuous rules btw) and as they will be a regulated industry, one of them might actually feel compelled to pay income taxes.

    I agree that cars are bullsh** and cause a lot of problems, but just giving these urchens free license to do whatever they want does nothing to help the cause. I ride my bike every day, and haven’t been in a cab in more than a year. I’m tired of me and my wife being chased and bothered everytime we go for a walk in the Park. Get a real job you dirtbags, or prove to me you actually pay taxes. Until then, I hope they all get regulated so we can actually see some progress in greening Manhattan.

  • Davis

    Sick,

    The legit pedicab operators, people like George Bliss, were the ones who initiated the City Council regulations for the pedicab industry. They wanted regulation, they wanted insurance, they wanted to make sure NYC had trained, responsible drivers in high-quality vehicles, and they wanted to be a part of a legit industry.

    Unfortunately, City Council took the industry’s own regulation push and used it to run half of the pedicabs out of business while doing almost nothing about the unscrupulous operators out there. You can thank Christine Quinn if you’re feeling sick and tired about it.

  • Sickandtired

    Davis,

    If George Bliss and the other owners of the bikes were so concerned, then why do they continue to rent their tricycles to these people?

    I’ll tell you why, because they are like any other businessperson. They want to make money. They don’t care, otherwise they’d be out there regulating themselves.

    Still Sickandtired

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