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Kris
January 2nd, 2005, 03:27 AM
January 2, 2005

Not So Merrily, They Roll Along: Pedicabs Vie for Midtown Riders

By SEWELL CHAN and NICHOLAS CONFESSORE

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The growing competition from pedicabs along Central Park South has many in the horse carriage business looking over their shoulders.

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Jonathan Whittaker crossing Central Park South near the Plaza Hotel with David and Lynn Fisher of London. The growth in pedicabs has caught city officials by surprise.

At first, the giant tricycles did not seem quite so threatening.

Pedicabs were more of a novelty than a legitimate mode of transport when a group of environmentalists and artists in Manhattan began pedaling them - and peddling rides on them - nine years ago.

But in the past two years, according to unofficial estimates, the number of pedicabs has nearly doubled, spurred by an influx of entrepreneurs and popularized when they were featured on Donald J. Trump's reality television show, "The Apprentice."

Long popular in Southeast Asia, pedicabs are now combatants in a quiet war on the streets of Midtown, with tourist dollars as the primary spoils.

Drivers of horse-drawn carriages and taxicabs are demanding a crackdown on the unlicensed three-wheelers. Along Central Park South, hackney drivers accuse pedicab operators of stealing their customers in what has long been their domain. Cabdrivers say their exclusive license to pick up passengers who hail them on the streets is slowly being undermined.

After years in which pedicabs were seen only as rare curiosities, the city has taken notice of their recent proliferation. Officials are talking about regulating the vehicles, citing concerns about public safety and accident liability. Pedicab operators say the vehicles now number about 220, and officials say the rapid increase has caught them by surprise.

"It's burgeoning," said the city's commissioner of consumer affairs, Gretchen Dykstra, whose department oversees hackney carriages and is considering rules for pedicabs. "There are many more of them, and they seem to be popping up almost weekly."

Ms. Dykstra said that her department was aware of one nonfatal accident involving a pedicab and that she was particularly concerned about the lack of liability insurance among several pedicab operators.

Nearly all the pedicabs, which can carry two passengers, are operated in Midtown. The drivers - many of them students, actors or recent immigrants - typically charge $1 a minute, but a passenger carrying a few extra pounds and traveling a route with steep inclines can expect to pay considerably more.

Carriages charge $34 for the first half hour and $10 for every 15 minutes thereafter. Taxicabs charge $2.50 upon entry and 40 cents for every one-fifth of a mile, or for every two minutes when they are stalled in traffic under six miles an hour.

Operators say their best business is on rainy or snowy days, when taxicabs are hard to find, and in the evenings, after performances at Broadway theaters or at Radio City Music Hall. Their growing presence at heavily trafficked intersections has rivals complaining, loudly.

Cornelius P. Byrne, who inherited his father's stable and hackney carriages in 1964, said the pedicab operators were jeopardizing his livelihood.

"These guys have just gone out into the streets, and nobody's questioned them," Mr. Byrne said. "It's kind of crazy. Nobody is asking if it's right, or legal."

Mr. Byrne and his brother own 18 horses and 7 of the 68 carriages licensed by the Department of Consumer Affairs. The number of carriages, as well as routes and fares, are regulated under the city's administrative code.

The effects of the competition are hard to quantify, but cabbies and carriage drivers say the pedicabs are an unwelcome variable in the grim arithmetic of making a living by operating a vehicle for hire.

Mohammed Diarra, a cabdriver for five years, estimates that he has lost 10 percent of his business, concentrated in the Midtown theater and business district, since the pedicabs began to explode in popularity.

"Business has definitely dropped off," he said. "It's bad. If I had a choice, I'd get rid of them. The traffic isn't safe, and they pick up our passengers. We pay a lot of money to pick people up in Manhattan."

Three months ago, Mr. Diarra said, the weekly rental fee he pays for his medallion rose to $780, from $650.

The competition has been especially fierce during the holiday season, as the carriages and the pedicabs vie for the same tourists.

At the southeast corner of Central Park on Thursday, people were lining up two rows deep for carriage rides. Pedicab operators nearby were unapologetic about descending on the traditional hub of carriage activity.

"We're tempted to pick off their rides," said Mark Stringer, sitting on his pedicab outside the Plaza Hotel. "Generally, we stay off their turf. They have more business than they can handle."

But Mr. Stringer, a stock day trader who has driven a pedicab since July, acknowledged that relations were often not amicable. Once, he said, he was riding his tricycle through Central Park when a carriage driver berated him for riding in the right lane long used by the carriages. "He waved his whip at me," Mr. Stringer said, adding, "I think he was being humorous."

Far from forming a unified front, the pedicab operators are bitterly divided between the veterans and the newcomers. One of the original operators, George R. Bliss, who is credited with pioneering commercial use of pedicabs in Manhattan, said he was ready to give up the business because of ruthless competition from newer entrepreneurs.

"This has just gone haywire," he said, complaining that his drivers are going over to competitors who he said have newer equipment but often do not carry insurance. "I'm losing drivers like crazy."

In 1993, Mr. Bliss and a group of acquaintances bought a dozen used pedicabs from a man who had operated them in Honolulu and Miami Beach, before municipal authorities in those cities restricted their use.

"When we first started operating the handful of cabs, we were met with both applause and bewilderment," said Peter M. Meitzler, who was part of the group.

While the rest of the group fell away, Mr. Bliss obtained accident insurance and started his company, Pedicabs of New York, in 1995. Mr. Meitzler began his own company, Manhattan Rickshaw, shortly thereafter.

The explosion in pedicabs has created something of an economic paradox. With competitors sprouting up, no one has established control of the industry, and it is not clear if anyone is making money yet.

The old-timers say their tenuous profit margins have all but vanished. Mr. Bliss, a sometime actor and industrial designer, leases each of his 32 pedicabs for $30 to $40 a day, but the income is barely enough to cover the cost of renting his maintenance garage in SoHo. "If these opportunists hadn't arrived, we were going to start raising our rates," he said.

Mr. Meitzler, who holds a full-time job as a legal assistant, leases each of his 13 pedicabs for $25 to $45 a day. He said he also made money from advertisements on his pedicabs for Altoids breath mints, Axe men's body spray and deodorant and The New Yorker magazine.

The industry might have remained genteel and eccentric, until others saw the potential for profit.

Stephen H. Meyer, whose company is a leading pedicab manufacturer, said he has delivered more pedicabs to New York in the past year than in all the previous years combined since 1992, when he started his company, Main Street Pedicabs, in Broomfield, Colo.

Each pedicab costs $3,400 and is made of a steel alloy frame, with 21 speeds, hydraulic brakes and a fiberglass passenger cab that can seat two adults.

Mr. Meyer owns a stake in Mr. Meitzler's company, but his leading customer is a young man named Matthew Sanda, who is probably the most prominent of the new pedicab entrepreneurs.

Mr. Sanda, 27, moved to New York from his native Trout Lake, Wash., to attend acting school, but now spends nearly all his time at his garage in Chelsea. He and a business partner began their company, Mr. Rickshaw L.L.C., in May with 23 new pedicabs and an accident insurance policy, but it has not made money yet.

"This whole year the business has changed drastically," Mr. Sanda said.

In March, Mr. Trump may have helped to stimulate demand for the pedicabs when contestants on his show competed to see who could make the most money from a set of leased Manhattan pedicabs.

As if pedicabs were not enough, another recent tourist vehicle is the PartyBike, a red seven-seat multiwheeled contraption made in Germany; up to six riders sit in a circle, pedaling, while the driver steers from the rear. Passengers can get aboard outside the Toys "R" Us store at Times Square.

The entry of so many pedicabs has heightened the competition among drivers.

"We try to have decorum, have some class, but the new pedicab guys don't," said David Sirk, an actor who has driven a pedicab since 2002. "If I'm parked here, trying to sell a ride, some guy will pull up in front of me. Now there are so many new guys, so many new idiots."

Last summer, Mr. Sirk recalled, "there was a big brouhaha at Tavern on the Green because the pedicabs were stealing business from the carriages." The restaurant in Central Park has been a traditional pickup point for the carriages.

Complaints from cabdrivers have also gotten the attention of the city's Taxi and Limousine Commission.

"While the T.L.C. has no regulatory authority over nonmotorized vehicles, drivers have raised a number of concerns about pedicabs with us," the chairman of the commission, Matthew W. Daus, said through a spokesman. "We are pleased that the Department of Consumer Affairs is taking a closer look at this issue."

In the summer of 2001, the administration of Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani drafted pedicab regulations that would have required operators to hold a driver's license and be fingerprinted. The rules would have required headlights, taillights, turn signals, side-mounted mirrors and tire reflectors, as well as seat belts and waterproof canopies for passengers.

The proposal was shelved after the Sept. 11 terrorist attack, but city officials may revive it. In July, they convened a meeting with pedicab owners and drivers.

"We have begun to explore the feasibility and desirability of recommending a regulatory scheme, but no decisions have been made, and those discussions are not over," Ms. Dykstra, the consumer affairs commissioner, said in an interview.

Until this summer, she added, she had not thought much about pedicabs, except for the time in 1998 she rode one, in Vietnam. "The irony is that it's an ancient industry that is new to New York, and so there are lots of questions being asked."

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

NewYorkYankee
January 2nd, 2005, 09:14 AM
I saw that "Party Bike" thing and didnt know what it was, LOL! :D

BigMac
March 6th, 2006, 01:12 PM
Newsday
March 3, 2006

Bicycle taxis thrive on streets of New York; city considers crackdown

By SARA KUGLER
Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK -- The bicycle taxi trend is weaving its way through the clogged streets of midtown Manhattan, a movement growing so rapidly that the city is proposing regulations before it spins out of control.

Known as pedicabs, these vehicles that look like giant tricycles with a passenger carriage in the back are favored by tourists and some New Yorkers as an affordable, pollution-free alternative that can sail through gridlock. The City Council is examining whether this burgeoning fad, grown from a centuries-old form of transportation, needs safety standards, insurance mandates and rate rules.

Reminiscent of the hand-pulled rickshaws popular in 19th-century Japan, pedicabs have rolled into many U.S. cities, including Denver, Boston, Houston and San Diego, often swarming stadium parking lots during major concerts and sporting events.

A number of cities are considering regulations or have already adopted them. Las Vegas shooed pedicabs away and banned them outright from the Strip, saying they posed a danger to both riders and pedestrians.

On Friday in Manhattan, two British tourists said they felt totally safe on their ride through Central Park.

"I was a bit skeptical," said Emma Carter, 23, after they hopped out. "But it was great. A fun experience."

Pedicabs began arriving in New York City a decade ago, when a group of entrepreneurs tried to market the novelty to tourists sightseeing in lower Manhattan, near the World Trade Center and Battery Park.

But over the years, savvy drivers discovered that midtown is pedicab paradise, from the Empire State Building on 34th Street up to Central Park, with Times Square in the middle. They pluck passengers from the throngs of tourists and nab commuters who want to get across town at rush hour or after a Broadway show.

"I always ask my passengers whether they have taken a pedicab before, and quite often their reply is 'All the time _ it's faster than a car,"' said Craig Molino, a Manhattan pedicab driver for five years.

Officials estimate there are now about 300 pedicabs on the streets of New York, mostly in midtown. Main Street Pedicabs, a major supplier based in Colorado, has been sending the vehicles here by the truckload in recent years, owner Stephen Meyer said.

Meyer's model, which features a fiberglass cab, is fashioned like a mountain bike, with a steel alloy frame and 21 speeds. The base price is $3,400.

In New York City, there are a number of companies that lease the cabs to drivers, as well as drivers working on their own. Most charge their passengers a starting rate of $1 per block, but fares are negotiated depending on a number of variables, which can include the number of passengers, their weight and the weather.

Unlike horse-drawn carriages and yellow cabs, pedicabs are free from regulations and therefore have no fare restrictions and no accountability on safety issues or insurance. Officials estimate that about half the pedicabs trolling for passengers each day are not insured.

There are no known fatal pedicab accidents in New York City, but some passengers have been injured in collisions with cars and buses. A 2001 pedicab crash where one passenger's shoulder was hurt resulted in a settlement for nearly $2 million. In San Diego a few weeks ago, a rider suffered a serious head injury when he fell out of a pedicab and was hit by a car.

"It is disconcerting that New Yorkers and tourists are riding in these devices without oversight in place _ non-inspected devices that may not have proper safety equipment or insurance," said Iris Weinshall, New York's Transportation Commissioner. "We simply cannot wait for a tragic accident involving a pedicab to occur."

The City Council is considering legislation that proposes rules on licensing, training and insurance for drivers. A council committee is also looking at whether the fare-calculation process should be posted in the cabs.

Drivers and pedicab company operators say they welcome regulations to help weed out the freewheeling folks who may be cutting corners.

"There are renegade drivers out there," Molino said. "God forbid, something happens, it's a bad reflection on the whole industry."

Copyright 2006 Newsday Inc.

milleniumcab
March 11th, 2006, 03:25 AM
They Are Simply A Disaster Waiting To Happen....

Kris
May 8th, 2006, 04:42 AM
May 8, 2006
City Says Cabs Powered by Legs Must Be Regulated, Too
By SEWELL CHAN

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Wendy Scher was at the helm of a PartyBike on Saturday as a pedicab passed by in Times Square. The police have impounded several of the bikes.

The Bloomberg administration has put forward a comprehensive proposal to regulate the city's decade-old pedicab industry for the first time, seeking to bring order to the human-powered for-hire vehicles that have become increasingly popular on Midtown streets, particularly during the warm months.

The proposal would confer legal recognition on the pedicabs, which are similar to rickshaws, except that they are pedaled instead of pulled. Nearly 300 pedicabs operate in the city, but until now there have been no formal safety standards, rules of operation or licensing requirements.

The regulations would also outlaw a popular round bicycle built for seven, a multiwheeled contraption in which six riders pedal while the seventh, the driver, steers from the rear. The Police Department has called the bike — sometimes marketed as a PartyBike or a Superbike and mostly used around Times Square — a hazard that chokes off traffic, and has impounded several of the vehicles.

"It's not the bike itself, it's how it's operated," James S. Muessig, owner of Superbike, which owns four of the vehicles, said yesterday. "We do it safely and responsibly."

The proposal, drafted by the Department of Consumer Affairs over several months and presented to the City Council on Friday, would require pedicab owners to pay a $125 licensing fee each year, and $70 for each additional cab, and to carry an insurance policy covering up to $1 million in liability.

Each pedicab would be limited to two adult passengers with one child 3 or younger. Each vehicle would have to have water-resistant hydraulic or mechanical brakes, emergency brakes, battery-powered headlights and taillights, turn lights, reflectors, side-mounted rear view mirrors and passenger seat belts. The pedicabs would be prohibited in parks, on bridges and in tunnels. Owners and drivers who violate the rules could have their licenses suspended or revoked, face fines of $200 to $4,000, and have their vehicles seized.

The Bloomberg administration has decided to recognize the pedicabs as a feature of the Midtown streetscape, despite intense feelings on both sides. Pedicab operators say the vehicles are a safe, fun and viable way to move people quickly by weaving in and out of traffic. NYC & Company, the city's convention and visitors bureau, has endorsed pedicabs as a popular tourist diversion.

However, some owners of taxicabs and horse-drawn carriages have called for a ban, arguing that the pedicabs are unsafe and that a carriage license or taxicab medallion confers the exclusive right to respond to street hails. "Pedicabs are like illegal street peddlers, and they're stealing passengers away from taxi operators," said Joseph E. Giannetto, a representative of owners of large taxi fleets.

George R. Bliss, who is widely acknowledged as the father of the city's pedicab industry, said pedicab owners had been calling for regulation because they have had difficulty obtaining affordable liability insurance in the absence of official standards. He leads the New York City Pedicab Owners Association, a trade association that incorporated last month.

However, he said he was concerned that the proposed regulations would give the consumer affairs commissioner discretion to limit the number of pedicabs and to set "fitness requirements" for drivers beyond the rule that they be at least 18 and hold a valid driver's license.

Mr. Bliss said he also opposed the proposed restriction on pedicab operation in the parks, noting that many pedicabs pick up passengers around the southern edge of Central Park for a ride in the park.

Councilman Leroy G. Comrie Jr., a Queens Democrat, has set a hearing on Thursday to discuss the proposed rules. A spokeswoman for the Department of Consumer Affairs said she could not elaborate on the proposal. "Setting up a licensing structure for the pedicab industry is something both the Council and the administration have identified as an important priority," said the spokeswoman, Dina Improta Roskin.

The plan was drafted in response to a similar proposal by Councilman Alan Jay Gerson, a Manhattan Democrat. The city's proposal is more comprehensive and somewhat less restrictive, but it would leave pedicabs far more loosely regulated than the city's 68 hackney carriages, regulated by the Department of Consumer Affairs, and its 12,278 yellow taxicabs, overseen by the Taxi and Limousine Commission.

The amount of a pedicab fare, for example, would have to be disclosed up front but would be subject to informal bargaining, as it is now. At a Council hearing on Feb. 28, the transportation commissioner, Iris Weinshall, said it was difficult to establish a uniform fare because pedicab drivers tend to charge different fares based on the length of the trip, the weather conditions, the number of passengers — and, yes, their weight. The proposal is silent on the issue of motorized pedicabs, which some in the industry say will be the next contraption to come to Manhattan. Taxicab industry representatives have said they will fervently oppose legalizing such vehicles. "Motor-assisted pedicabs are something we're trying to understand and look at," Ms. Weinshall said in February.

Pedicabs have been operating in New York since 1995, but the industry still has a bohemian feel. Many of the drivers are students, artists and actors who work part time. They typically pay $200 a week to rent a cab and make up to $150 in a seven- or eight-hour shift. The cost of a cab ranges from $3,600 to $7,000.

"We need to legitimize the industry so that cabbies stop blowing their horns at us and so people start taking us seriously as a form of clean-air transportation," said Robert E. Brennan, 36, an actor and freelance editor who began driving a pedicab three weeks ago.

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

milleniumcab
May 31st, 2006, 12:55 AM
The City got permission to auction off 900 more Yellow Cab Medallions in 2004 and will auction off the last 300 Medallions in June, 2006. The bidders for these Medallions will be bidding around $500,000.00 because Medallion Cabs have the exclusive right to pick up street hails in NYC. It is outrageous for the City to make millions of dollars from this auction and legitimize another form of street hail pick ups, pedi cabs, at the same time.... If this turns into reality, every person who purchased the exclusive right to pick up street hails must look into taking the City to court...:mad:

antinimby
May 31st, 2006, 01:46 AM
milleniumcab, you being a cab driver I can understand your opposition to the pedicabs but do you really think they are taking away your customers/business? I mean, they cater to a different crowd, an entirely different segment of the business. People that ride in the pedicabs are not necessarily in it for the transportation that taxicabs are for, but more for fun and sightseeing. If anything else, it's the double-decker sightseeing tour buses that they are taking business away, but I don't hear them complaining. So why should you? Apples and oranges.
I'm in favor of them.

lofter1
May 31st, 2006, 11:29 AM
Now that the city is regulating the pedi-cabs will the City not have some liability when the inevitable & nasty accident occurs? (All those exposed limbs won't be much of a match with the steel of another vehicle.)

MidtownGuy
May 31st, 2006, 03:09 PM
The pedicabs would be prohibited in parks,

while smelly, animal-cruel horse carriages would be allowed to run rampant, depositing urine and horseshit
all over the place.

100% in favor of pedicabs.

milleniumcab
June 1st, 2006, 02:16 AM
milleniumcab, you being a cab driver I can understand your opposition to the pedicabs but do you really think they are taking away your customers/business? I mean, they cater to a different crowd, an entirely different segment of the business. People that ride in the pedicabs are not necessarily in it for the transportation that taxicabs are for, but more for fun and sightseeing. If anything else, it's the double-decker sightseeing tour buses that they are taking business away, but I don't hear them complaining. So why should you? Apples and oranges.
I'm in favor of them.

The fares at Grand Central, Penn Station, Hotels and Midtown Business District are not looking to sightsee, they are looking to hail a taxi to their destination...And that's my territory...It doesn't bother me much when I see them in and around the Central Park( although I feel for the Handsome Cabs) but I don't like it when they hang around busy hubs like the GC and PS and the hotels, trying to get fares...

And how about the point 'Lofter1' makes.. What about the safety of the public. Can you not see the danger they represent to the people who are just out to have some fun.. Have you ever seen a family of five(three kids) in a pedi cab weaving in out of traffic.. I have...How about one with three people in the middle of 5th Avenue and the traffic moving along at 20- 25 mi/h.. I have... They are like a time-bomb, disaster waiting to happen...

If the City is irresponsible enough to legitimize them, they should not be allowed to operate in the Streets nor the Avenues...

By the way, did you know one of those pedi cabs was hit by a private bus about a year ago and the husband and wife, unfortunate enough to be riding in the back, were hospitalized with critical injuries and spent weeks in a hospital....

They simply don't belong in the mad-busy streets of NYC...

antinimby
June 1st, 2006, 03:35 AM
You must be kidding me to even suggest that taxicab patrons would use pedicabs as an alternative, when such vehicles (if you can call it that) can go only...what...15 mph, tops? Clearly, these people at Grand Central, Penn Station, etc. that you are talking about, wouldn't be taking your taxicab even if there were no pedicabs around. The people that ride your cabs are not interested in pedicabs and those in the pedicabs are not interested in taxis.

And as for the "danger" they pose, your motorized vehicle weighing two tons and going 40 mph is whole lot more dangerous to pedestrians than a carriage pedaled by human power going 5-10 mph.

Furthermore, while pedicabs may or may not be a time bomb waiting to happen, yellow taxicabs are time bombs that are already happening, and with frequency I might add. Not to mention, they don't pollute like the vehicle you drive around do.


They simply don't belong in the mad-busy streets of NYC...And I wonder who's the cause of that.


Look, if you're going to oppose what you see as potential competition (although I don't believe that it is), at least come forward and admit that that's the case and not talk about all this time bomb and public safety garbage.

You shouldn't be so greedy, let others make a living too.

BPC
June 1st, 2006, 09:14 AM
The City got permission to auction off 900 more Yellow Cab Medallions in 2004 and will auction off the last 300 Medallions in June, 2006.

This is your real competition, not the pedicabs -- all these extra medallions, not a few guys on bicycles. I take cabs every day. I've never taken a pedicab, and don't suspect I ever will. (Something about having someone else pedal for me makes me feel like a lazy pig.) Why not sue the City for continuing to issue more taxi medallions? The answer is that medallion values keep going up and up, so there are no real damages here.

milleniumcab
June 2nd, 2006, 03:14 AM
You must be kidding me to even suggest that taxicab patrons would use pedicabs as an alternative, when such vehicles (if you can call it that) can go only...what...15 mph, tops? Clearly, these people at Grand Central, Penn Station, etc. that you are talking about, wouldn't be taking your taxicab even if there were no pedicabs around. The people that ride your cabs are not interested in pedicabs and those in the pedicabs are not interested in taxis.

And as for the "danger" they pose, your motorized vehicle weighing two tons and going 40 mph is whole lot more dangerous to pedestrians than a carriage pedaled by human power going 5-10 mph.

Furthermore, while pedicabs may or may not be a time bomb waiting to happen, yellow taxicabs are time bombs that are already happening, and with frequency I might add. Not to mention, they don't pollute like the vehicle you drive around do.

And I wonder who's the cause of that.


Look, if you're going to oppose what you see as potential competition (although I don't believe that it is), at least come forward and admit that that's the case and not talk about all this time bomb and public safety garbage.

You shouldn't be so greedy, let others make a living too.

.....I might be upset by City trying to regulate thus legitimize this non-sense, called pedi cabs...But for anyone to call us greedy and dangerous is way out of line...

.....The Daily News recently had an article about the SAFEST DRIVERS in NYC.. guess who they were... Yellow Cab Drivers.. not just any professional driver... YELLOW CAB DRIVERS....What made them safer than your... limo, livery, truck, city bus, any bus or your average driver who comes into the city.. I don't know ... why don't you check your Taxi & Limousine Commission web site or the archives of the Daily News...Study done by BRUCE SCHALLER.. a well respected individual by NYC and the transportation industry....

....Clean energy?????....If all the yellow cabs were Hybrid ( soon will be), would you have even mentioned the pollution issue..we don't pollute as much as the rest of the traffic monsters do..trucks?..SUV's?..super SUV's?.

.....And I never mentioned of any danger posed by the pedi cabs to pedestrians, they pose danger to themselves and their own passengers by the way they choose to drive, in and out of traffic...

Before you claim your unfounded statements in this forum, consider this..
You seem to have this negative (a very negative) opinion for the cab drivers and I don't know whether I can change that or not...But, personally my dear...... I don't give a damn.....:D

milleniumcab
June 2nd, 2006, 03:34 AM
This is your real competition, not the pedicabs -- all these extra medallions, not a few guys on bicycles. I take cabs every day. I've never taken a pedicab, and don't suspect I ever will. (Something about having someone else pedal for me makes me feel like a lazy pig.) Why not sue the City for continuing to issue more taxi medallions? The answer is that medallion values keep going up and up, so there are no real damages here.
the taxi medallions are needed to serve the riding public.... I am not so much against the City issuing more medallions as I am for them not protect the rights of the cab drivers..

My medallion is considered a real estate and so is your house....and 30 years ago, it cost $35,000.00, same as a 5 story and 12-15 family building... today my medallion is $350,000 and the very building I am talking about is 3 to 4 million dollars...:)))

I guess I should have been a real estate tycoon...... too late now...

ablarc
June 2nd, 2006, 06:49 AM
milleniumcab, nice to have your views.

milleniumcab
June 2nd, 2006, 02:20 PM
milleniumcab, nice to have your views.

Thanks, ablarc...

pianoman11686
July 8th, 2006, 01:58 PM
From http://cityrealty.com/new_developments:

Community Board discusses regulation of pedicabs 07-JUL-06

The transportation and environment committee of Community Board 5 held a discussion Wednesday night about regulating the burgeoning “pedicab” industry of bicycle rickshaws.

At a recent City Council hearing on the subject, Jonathan Mintz, the city’s Commissioner of the Department of Consumer Affairs, noted that pedicabs have increased from about 70 to more than 300 in the last three years.

At the request of Mayor Bloomberg, a bill has been introduced in the City Council by City Councilman Leroy G. Comrie to regulate pedicabs and control their impact of the city’s traffic. That proposed legislation, Intro 331 bill proposes that pedicabs provide seatbelts for passengers and insurance for the driver and passengers.

In addition, the bill would require that fares be posted on the exterior of the pedicab and that the pedicabs have a timer or meter to calculate the fares.

The legislation supported by Mayor Bloomberg would also prohibit multi-passenger-driven wheeled devices, known as “party bikes.” These began appearing about a year ago in and around Times Square and the Theater District and were gangly contraptions with about seven seats and sets of pedals in a circle that invariably brought smiles to passersby and passengers alike.

The New York Police Department has impounded many of these multi-passenger bikes.

There are two other pedicab bills before the City Council. The committee noted that there is another City Council proposed bill about pedicabs, Intro 748, that is similar to the mayor’s proposal but does not ban “party bikes.” The third proposed legislation, Intro 740, would ban the pedicabs in most of midtown Manhattan.

John Mills, chairman of the transportation and environment committee of Community Board 5, said that his committee had some concerns about the proposed regulations and said he has scheduled another meeting to discuss the issue September 6. He said he will invite members of the pedicab industry to that meeting.

The Manhattan Rickshaw Company has been operating its three-wheeled pedicabs which have lighting and “canopies in the event of rain or pesky paparazzi” in the city since 1995. On its website, Manhattan Rickshaw Company states that it has pledged its adherence to a new quality control project called the NYC Pedicab Owners Association, which is a voluntary "good housekeeping seal" organization that will attempt to set standards of quality.

Most committee members indicated support for legislation and one member noted that the pedicabs “operate more like renegade bike messengers than cars.”

In 2002, Santa Barbara, California, demanded that drivers of pedicabs get city permits. Last year, Las Vegas banned them from the Strip.

Last month, the Public Carriage Office of Transport for London began a 12-week “public consultation” on licensing pedicabs, and pedicabs began to appear on the streets of St. Petersburg in Russia this spring.

Last weekend, DC Pedicab began its service in Washington, D.C., according to an article posted at Rickshawforum.com.

ablarc
July 8th, 2006, 04:01 PM
The next step is to install little motors to ease the burden on exhausted drivers. Then...

ManhattanKnight
July 8th, 2006, 04:29 PM
The legislation supported by Mayor Bloomberg would also prohibit multi-passenger-driven wheeled devices, known as “party bikes.” These began appearing about a year ago in and around Times Square and the Theater District and were gangly contraptions with about seven seats and sets of pedals in a circle that invariably brought smiles to passersby and passengers alike.

The New York Police Department has impounded many of these multi-passenger bikes.


Spoilsports.

http://www.partybike.com/images/familywave.jpghttp://www.partybike.com/images/pics/33.jpghttp://www.partybike.com/images/pics/29.jpg

http://www.partybike.com/

ablarc
July 8th, 2006, 09:56 PM
The New York Police Department has impounded many of these multi-passenger bikes.
Oh yeah? What's the charge?

lofter1
July 8th, 2006, 11:29 PM
"vending without a license" ...

The Party May Be Over for These Tricycles Built for Seven

http://www.transalt.org/press/media/2006/343.html
By GARY SHAPIRO
Staff Reporter of the Sun
April 4, 2006


Is the party over for PartyBike? The owner of Peddle Pushers Limited, which runs a fleet of red, seven-seated giant tricycles often seen traversing Times Square, faces a bumpy ride after the Police Department impounded 14 of its 15 vehicles in the city.

Donald Domite says his company is being singled out by police. "We follow the vehicle laws. We stop at lights. No one was ever injured," said Mr. Domite, 52, of Sayville, L.I., whose company started about two and a half years ago.

Three "conference bikes," as the vehicles are called, sit idly next to the police station on West 35th Street, and another 11 are impounded in Brooklyn. The company currently has only one operating in the city.

Riders pay $10 a person to traverse the neighborhood in roughly a six- or seven-block area - for example, traveling down Broadway, turning right on 42nd Street, and going up Eighth Avenue into Hell's Kitchen. Other routes include Rockefeller Center and Central Park.

Mr. Domite said police have been issuing "ECB tickets" - a reference to the city's Environmental Control Board - which allow them to impound the vehicles for violating the city's vending laws. Published reports have said that Mr. Domite's PartyBikes were drawing complaints of noise on Eighth Avenue.

Mr. Domite said the ECB violations fall under the charge of "vending without a license." Previous summons of "disorderly conduct" have been dismissed in court, he said.

Although PartyBike has received about 250 disorderly conduct tickets, Mr. Domite said, a bicycle is allowed anywhere in New York City unless there is a sign saying "No Bicycles." When asked if his vehicles have impeded traffic, he said, "You cannot impede traffic if you're part of it."

Each PartyBike, Mr. Domite said, costs about $11,000 to $15,000. The main driver, or captain, steers the vehicle and controls the brakes while up to six passengers help pedal. The vehicles are 8 feet long and 6 feet wide.

The vehicles were at first well received, Mr. Domite said, until one of his drivers had a verbal dispute with a police officer in September 2004. Tickets and impoundment since followed, he said. Mr. Domite said the police have singled him out, arresting him for loitering six months ago in Times Square. He said he spent three days in jail but the city, he said, declined prosecution at the arraignment. In October, he filed a civil action against the police and is seeking a civil rights attorney.

He says his PartyBikes are like tour buses and are a "unique business" in the city. Others in similar businesses expressed surprise at the police reaction.
"Seizing his property is a serious thing," the operator of Manhattan Rickshaw Co, Peter Meitzler, said. "There's no current licensing category for pedal powered vehicles."

He cited the New York City administrative code, which defines a vendor as " a person who sells or offers to sell goods or services at retail in a public space." Vendors licenses are issued by the city's Department of Consumer Affairs.

He said a City Council committee met in February and is gathering information on how to regulate pedal powered vehicles to insure that the owners have liability insurance, driver training and safe equipment. But, Mr. Meitzler said, conference bikes are more an entertainment business than pedicabs, in which customers sit behind a driver who pedals in front. With conference bikes, riders sit in a circle and can have, well, a conference on wheels.

In response to questions about Mr. Domite's PartyBikes, an NYPD public information officer, Michael Collins, said the police only enforce the rules, while the Department of Consumer Affairs makes the rules and has a "big hand in that issue."

Other longtime bicyclers were lukewarm as to conference bikes, relegating them to the category of tourist activity. An employee of Pedal Pusher Bicycle Shop, located in Manhattan, who gave her name as Erica R, said conference bikes were among the silly things tourists do in Times Square.

The deputy director of advocacy for Transportation Alternatives, a nonprofit that promotes and encourages biking and walking, Noah Budnick, said, "They're intended purpose is not transportation. Their intended purpose is tourist rides." He added, "On a street that is closed to traffic with little pedestrian volume, they might be appropriate." A competitor of PartyBike is Superbike, which operates four vehicles and is owned by James Muessig. Mr. Muessig said his vehicles have never been seized and have received only five tickets in the last seven months. He said the police have been courteous and respectful. "No one would be making any money in Times Square if it weren't for the NYPD" keeping everyone safe, Mr. Muessig said.

He said the police are involved in maintaining open lanes for emergency vehicles and keeping sight lines open. In short, he said, "When the police tell you to do something, you do it."

© 2006 The New York Sun

milleniumcab
July 9th, 2006, 02:42 AM
Oh yeah? What's the charge?

To put the unsuspecting public, who are only out to have a little fun, in gravest danger..

VERDICT = GUILTY

milleniumcab
July 9th, 2006, 02:52 AM
The next step is to install little motors to ease the burden on exhausted drivers. Then...

I wish they would do it right this minute but they won't.. Because that would put them in a whole different category than "bicycles" and their a*ses would be fried..

ZippyTheChimp
December 17th, 2006, 08:14 AM
December 17, 2006

Midtown

Pedicabs on the Run

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2006/12/17/nyregion/pedi600.jpg
John Marshall Mantel for The New York Times
Dmitry Fiadosau carting his passengers through the holiday-congested streets.

By JEFF VANDAM

Even above the din in Times Square, you can hear the chiming of hundreds of little bells. But the sound does not come from the stalwarts standing over Salvation Army kettles. The bells rest instead on the handlebars of pedicabs.

The bells are just one way ambitious pedicab drivers search for fares; these days, some of them are also wearing fake reindeer antlers. But their mood is not necessarily festive. Although the city’s pedicab industry is about a decade old, with an estimated 400 vehicles and perhaps more, local officials and cabdrivers, among others, are seeking to rein it in.

“They charge whatever they want, they do whatever they want, and it’s completely below the radar,” said City Councilman James Gennaro of Fresh Meadows, Queens, speaking on Monday at a Council hearing on pending legislation to regulate the industry.

The bills would require seat belts and other safety measures in pedicabs, as well as insurance and driver’s licenses for pedicab drivers. Some council members would do away with the vehicles altogether; Mr. Gennaro, for example, believes that pedicabs can never be made safe.

Taxicab owners are also frustrated. The Metropolitan Taxicab Board of Trade, a taxi owner advocacy group, recently released a DVD called “Exclusively Yellow? The Illegal Practices of Pedicabs, Liveries and Black Cars in New York City,” showing pedicab drivers idling at stands designated for taxis and quoting fares higher than taxi rates. Joseph Giannetto, the group’s director of business development, argued at the Council hearing that only taxi drivers are allowed to pick up what are known as “street hails.”

Some pedicab drivers, like Kuddusi Demir, an engineer who has driven a pedicab for 18 months, support regulation. “It’s good for us — we want to be legal,” he said on Tuesday evening as he looked for passengers outside the Marriott Marquis on West 45th Street. “Right now, the cops bother us because they don’t know who we are.”

But the New York City Pedicab Owners Association, a trade group, objects to some of the proposed legislation. All the proposals would require pedicab drivers to hold driver’s licenses, for instance, but the trade group believes that a learner’s permit is sufficient. The group also opposes any cap on the number of pedicabs; some of the bills would allow city government to set a cap.

Some pedicab drivers also say they are bothered by other for-hire drivers.

“On Sunday,” said a driver named Gregory James Broderick as he pointed out a crack in the fender of his red pedicab, “I was sideswiped by a livery cab driver, and he used rather choice four-letter adjectives. There definitely is a rogue element of cabdrivers who totally hate us. They see us as a threat.”

Despite their troubles, neither Mr. Broderick nor Mr. Demir thinks that pedicabs will go away anytime soon. As if to prove the point, Mr. Broderick could be seen just moments later pedaling down 50th Street at a brisk five miles an hour, bundled-up tourists in tow staring avidly at the lights of the city.


Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

ablarc
December 17th, 2006, 10:01 AM
I don't know why an established industry should look to government for protection against competition. Is that how capitalism works?

pianoman11686
December 17th, 2006, 01:22 PM
America's not fully capitalist; it's a mixed economy.

ablarc
December 17th, 2006, 01:35 PM
Sorry, I meant "free enterprise." :D

milleniumcab
December 17th, 2006, 07:24 PM
I don't know why an established industry should look to government for protection against competition. Is that how capitalism works?

Maybe it is because late comers into the taxi industry took out loans of around $350,000 to pay the city for the exclusive right to pick up street hails...It is not right for the city to auction off yellow taxi medallions to individuals and not protect what they paid for...

Pedicabs are just the tip of the iceberg.........:mad:

milleniumcab
December 17th, 2006, 07:27 PM
The city council will be back to discuss the safety issue with pedicabs soon, when somebody dies in them....;)...They have been banned from streets of many US cities for that very reason...

ablarc
December 17th, 2006, 08:59 PM
^ No one has ever died in a cab?

milleniumcab
December 18th, 2006, 10:54 PM
^ No one has ever died in a cab?

So it's ok to legalize a death trap just because a few have died in cab belonging to an established industry (100 years come 2007)...

Pedicab is no match for a car or any moving motor vehicle for that matter...The only accident that I know of was not with a cab, it was with a bus.. Imagine riding in one and getting hit by a bus...

And one more thing.. A recent study put NYC yellow cab drivers as safest out of all the professional drivers in this city.. So I don't buy any argument trying to paint us unsafe....

ablarc
December 18th, 2006, 11:07 PM
So I don't buy any argument trying to paint us unsafe....
...and I wasn't selling one, milleniumcab. :)

My point was that banning a mode of transport because of its potential for an occasional fatality would have the effect of eliminating all transport.

milleniumcab
December 18th, 2006, 11:20 PM
...and I wasn't selling one, milleniumcab. :)

My point was that banning a mode of transport because of its potential for an occasional fatality would have the effect of eliminating all transport.

And my point is that if allowed to run through the streets of NYC, I have no doubt pedicabs will prove themselves to be the deadliest transportation form, in time....;)

BPC
December 18th, 2006, 11:50 PM
http://www.partybike.com/images/familywave.jpg[IMG]

This is a ridiculous debate. Does anyone honestly believe that this contraption (or even the more typical pedicab) is competition for a yellow cab??? Should we also outlaw the Central Park horse carriages?

These two different forms of transportation form two very different markets. I use yellow cabs all the time and have had a 99% positive experience. I have nothing against them. But excluding pedicabs, which don't pollute the air, which service NYC's very important tourist market, and which don't run over people and kill them, and which take up much less space on the streets, is ridiculous. This industry should be regulated for purposes of public safety but otherwise allowed to exist.

milleniumcab
December 18th, 2006, 11:54 PM
^^^^^^^^ :) :mad: :p :rolleyes: :confused: :( :eek: ......:D :D :D

milleniumcab
December 18th, 2006, 11:57 PM
This industry should be regulated for purposes of public safety but otherwise allowed to exist.

It looks like pedicabs will be regulated but the PARTY or SPIDER BIKES will be taking off the road...

ryan
December 19th, 2006, 12:07 PM
milleniumcab,

Are you really threatened by competing with pedicabs? Seems like a very different market to me.

milleniumcab
December 19th, 2006, 08:29 PM
milleniumcab,

Are you really threatened by competing with pedicabs? Seems like a very different market to me.

How different is it?...Any mode of transportation is my competition. The buses, subway, black cars, livery cars are all competition. But they all have their own slices of the pie. The pedicabs are gonna be biting into my slice which is street hails... The law says street hails are for yellow cabs.. Pedicabs are doing the same.. To this day I have not seen them at the bus stops or subway entrances.. But they are at Penn Station, Grand Central, in front of the hotels, Times Square, 5th Avenue at taxi stands..

It might be hard to understand for most of you but with purchasing or leasing a medallion comes the exclusive right to pick up street hails.. That's all I am saying...I am just trying to protect my interest..

Edward
December 19th, 2006, 11:47 PM
Pedicab drivers pay lip service to pedestrians or red lights, squeezing between moving cars; the ride looks extremely unsafe for its passengers, and probably is. They should be allowed in Central Park only.

212
December 19th, 2006, 11:55 PM
mc, if you really think pedicabs are a threat to your business, maybe you should invest in them as a hedge ...

antinimby
December 20th, 2006, 12:54 AM
^ Good one.


Pedicab drivers pay lip service to pedestrians or red lights, squeezing between moving cars; the ride looks extremely unsafe for its passengers, and probably is. They should be allowed in Central Park only.Key word here is "looks."

Legislation just because something "looks" unsafe.

Wow.

Strattonport
December 20th, 2006, 02:02 AM
Pedicabs are hardly a threat to the city when you have private cars blazing up and down the streets. Let's see the city bring congestion charging to the table and then we should worry about pedicabs busting someone's chops.

milleniumcab
December 20th, 2006, 12:23 PM
mc, if you really think pedicabs are a threat to your business, maybe you should invest in them as a hedge ...

Now , here is an advice with a sense of humor..:D .. Then again thanks but no thanks...:rolleyes:

milleniumcab
December 20th, 2006, 12:27 PM
Legislation just because something "looks" unsafe.

Wow.

One doesn't have to be a geniuos to figure out that something that looks as unsafe as the pedicab rides do actually is extremely dangerous..

Ok then, we'll wait until they prove themselves to be unsafe and then look into to legislating them... How many accidents with pedicabs will be enough to convince people?.. That I wonder...Because any accident involving a pedicab and motor vehicle is surely to result in an injury, if not death...

milleniumcab
December 20th, 2006, 12:32 PM
Pedicabs are hardly a threat to the city.

I personally never said that they are a threat to the city.. On the other hand they are serious threat to the people who is riding them...

By the way, I am all for the congestion charge or similar preventive measures to ease the congestion in the city...It will have to be done soon...

milleniumcab
December 20th, 2006, 12:45 PM
Pedicab drivers pay lip service to pedestrians or red lights, squeezing between moving cars; the ride looks extremely unsafe for its passengers, and probably is. They should be allowed in Central Park only.

I guess the DOT Commissioner Ira Weinshall ( I think that's how you pronounce the name) do not share your views Edward. She testified before the City Council saying that they should not be allowed in city parks, only on mad-busy streets of Manhattan...:eek:

MidtownGuy
December 20th, 2006, 01:02 PM
It's often impossible to catch a cab in midtown. I think they need to add still more taxis, and then maybe there wouldn't be such demand for the pedicabs. It seems like everytime I'm standing at an intersection and someone gets in one of these things, it's because they tried unsuccessfully to hail a regular cab. I see how they fill a real need for shorter-distance rides.
Tourists seem to have fun in them as well, taking in sights as they ride along.
That said, I've also seen them swerve dangerously close to cars.

BPC
December 20th, 2006, 04:58 PM
Pedicab drivers pay lip service to pedestrians or red lights, squeezing between moving cars; the ride looks extremely unsafe for its passengers, and probably is. They should be allowed in Central Park only.

That's what traffic tickets are for. In any event, you can ride a bicyle in city streets. You can drive a semi down most city streets, which are filled with jaywalking pedestrians. The pedicabs seem to be about the LEAST dangerous thing on the road.

Strattonport
December 20th, 2006, 05:18 PM
I personally never said that they are a threat to the city.. On the other hand they are serious threat to the people who is riding them...

By the way, I am all for the congestion charge or similar preventive measures to ease the congestion in the city...It will have to be done soon...

Oh, I agree you; I just didn't clarify myself initially. Congestion pricing will only easy motor traffic in the city and make it safer for everyone else.

milleniumcab
December 20th, 2006, 10:23 PM
That's what traffic tickets are for. In any event, you can ride a bicyle in city streets.

I agree but when riding a bicycle you are taking your own life in your hands. Pedicabs with passengers, on the other hand, are not in the same boat...;)

antinimby
December 20th, 2006, 11:37 PM
Ok then, we'll wait until they prove themselves to be unsafe and then look into to legislating them...Pedicabs have been around for some time now.

You've been a broken record about that impending doomsday.

In the meantime, we haven't seen any rash of fatalities in pedicabs.

Yet, we've heard of plenty of accidents as a result of taxicabs in that span of time.

As far as I've seen, pedicabs have a pretty good track record so far, something I can't say about yellow cabs.

milleniumcab
December 21st, 2006, 01:11 AM
Pedicabs have been around for some time now.

You've been a broken record about that impending doomsday.

In the meantime, we haven't seen any rash of fatalities in pedicabs.

Yet, we've heard of plenty of accidents as a result of taxicabs in that span of time.

As far as I've seen, pedicabs have a pretty good track record so far, something I can't say about yellow cabs.

I can't say anything to this other than that track record has not been kept yet. But when the city starts to regulate them soon will start the record for all to keep track of...

BrooklynRider
December 21st, 2006, 09:48 AM
I'd rather see streets congested with pedicabs and bicycles than SUV's with a single fat goomba yakking on his cell phone and ignoring every rule of the road.

Pedicabs might actually be a danger or nuisance to motor vehicles, in which case, motor vehicles ought to be more strictly controlled or be banned outright.

eddhead
December 21st, 2006, 01:32 PM
...a single fat goomba yakking on his cell phone and ignoring every rule of the road..

What do you have against 'fat goombas?' I kinda resemble that remark, to quote a phrase

milleniumcab
December 21st, 2006, 10:27 PM
I'd rather see streets congested with pedicabs and bicycles than SUV's with a single fat goomba yakking on his cell phone and ignoring every rule of the road.

Pedicabs might actually be a danger or nuisance to motor vehicles, in which case, motor vehicles ought to be more strictly controlled or be banned outright.

I agree with your comments about single driver SUVs in the city but hear this.. Do you live in Amsterdam BR?.. If not you should think about moving there. You, pedicabs and bicycles would be a perfect match in Amsterdam...:p

ZippyTheChimp
January 22nd, 2007, 08:45 AM
CITY TO ZAP 'ELECTRIC' PEDICABS

By JEREMY OLSHAN

January 22, 2007 -- The city plans to ban pedicabs that use electric motors, in a move that advocates contend will cripple the industry.

Although "electrical assist" motors do not power the bicycle rickshaws, only making it slightly easier to pedal them, the City Council has determined that pedicabs must remain purely sweat-powered vehicles, sources said.

Of the 500 pedicabs working the streets, roughly 20 percent use electrical assist, advocates say, but that number has steadily increased because the motors allow drivers to make more money and work longer.

"The electrical assist makes pedicabs safer, and it enables us to have long-term professional drivers," said Chad Marlow, spokesman for the NYC Pedicab Owners Association.

Many have complained the pedicab industry is unregulated and unsafe.

ablarc
January 22nd, 2007, 06:01 PM
The city plans to ban pedicabs that use electric motors, in a move that advocates contend will cripple the industry.

Although "electrical assist" motors do not power the bicycle rickshaws, only making it slightly easier to pedal them, the City Council has determined that pedicabs must remain purely sweat-powered vehicles, sources said.
Bad decision imo.

antinimby
January 22nd, 2007, 07:21 PM
Environmentally, it might not necessarily be a bad thing to eliminate the battery-powered vehicles although I realize the City Council did not do so because of environmental concerns.

They were probably swayed by lobbyists from the taxi industry, who feared competition.

milleniumcab
January 22nd, 2007, 09:19 PM
Well!... They got their wish... They will soon be LEGAL and will have to comply with the requirements of being LEGAL..Let see how many will stay in business..

I should know, it is not easy being LEGAL in this city..

milleniumcab
January 22nd, 2007, 09:27 PM
They were probably swayed by lobbyists from the taxi industry, who feared competition.

Besides Taxi Industry, Handsome Cab, Hotel and the Broadway (Theatre) Industries (among the ones that I know of) also strongly objected to legalizing the Pedi-Cabs...

antinimby
February 14th, 2007, 08:27 AM
Pedicab drivers protest proposed rules


By Justin Rocket Silverman, amNewYork Staff Writer
February 14, 2007 (http://www.amny.com/news/local/transportation/am-pedicabs0214,0,2030859.story)

The City Council is poised to put the brakes on New York's freewheeling pedicabs, prompting hundreds of their drivers to say the regulations would devastate a pollution-free way to get around town.

"They say we are causing traffic congestion," said pedicab driver Mega Martinez, 43, at a protest Tuesday. "How can that be? We are the only ones who can get around the traffic."

The package of restrictions includes licensing and insurance requirements, training for drivers, and regular safety inspections for the pedicabs. But what is eliciting the most controversy is a cap that would limit the total number of pedicabs to 300. An estimated 500 pedicabs now populate the streets.

Hotel and theater owners have complained that pedicabs block curbside access to their establishments and exacerbate traffic. Two community boards have asked that pedicabs be banned outright from their districts.

But the curbs could hurt an industry that advocates say is helping the environment.

"To reduce the number of pedicabs while making statements about protecting the environment is just hypocritical," said Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives. "Most cities are capping greenhouses emissions and encouraging other modes of transportation. With these restrictions on pedicabs, New York is doing the opposite."

Councilman Leroy G. Comrie Jr. (D-Queens) defended the proposed regulations yesterday, saying pedicab owners have made clear that they want to operate within a legal framework. As a regulated industry, the owners would be able to purchase insurance at far more reasonable rates than many pay now.

"This bill represents the best efforts of all parties to create definitive regulations for an industry that wants it," Comrie said. "We already limit the number of taxis, buses and horses. This is just a number-driven town."

In addition to capping the number of pedicabs at 300, the City Council bill would completely ban those pedicabs that use electric-assist motors. While most of these motors use less power than a hair dryer, Comrie said the council considers them motor vehicles, subject to state laws.

A vote on the pedicab regulations is scheduled for Feb. 28.

Copyright 2007 AM New York

ablarc
February 14th, 2007, 08:47 AM
^ Special interests.

Damn the environment, the public be hanged.

milleniumcab
February 15th, 2007, 08:38 PM
They wanted to be legal and legal they must be...Now they are crying to have their cake and eat it too?....:p

Ninjahedge
February 16th, 2007, 09:00 AM
The ban on electric assist is getting a bit anal.

They should put a limit on the HP generated by these vehicles though. You do not ban things, you just put a number on them!

MidtownGuy
February 16th, 2007, 10:41 AM
milleniumcab, your opposition to pedicabs is probably 99% due to the fact that it means competition for you. So, it's bad for cabbies. An understandable, but personal, reason for you to oppose them. They may be good for the rest of us, however. It gives us another choice. I'm tired of never being able to get a cab when I need one. When a cab is empty, they're off-freaking-duty(often at the time they're most needed). Lo and behold, there's usually a pedicab ready and anxious to serve. They're obviously filling a need that the cabbies either won't, or can't. Otherwise no one would be climbing into those things.

lofter1
February 16th, 2007, 12:38 PM
When a cab is empty, they're off-freaking-duty(often at the time they're most needed).


This goes to the issue of supply / demand ....

Millenium Cab: Do you know why most cabs do the shift switch in the late afternoon? At Houston / Lafayette the gas station there is overflowing with cabs gassing up for the new shift @ ~ 4 - 5PM. This really seems to be a case of bad scheduling -- as so many cabs are in the switch-the-shift mode when they are most needed.

But maybe there's no perfect way to schedule three 8-hour shifts in a day ...

MidtownGuy
February 16th, 2007, 01:17 PM
Well, I think some way could be devised to stagger it, so that during busy hours I'm not standing there desperate while 3 empty cabs zoom past.

milleniumcab
February 18th, 2007, 12:44 AM
I recall mentioning that it is virtually impossible to stagger the shift change while keeping the profitibility for the driver.. I can't see that changing, really..
But I must say the dollar surcharge put me on the road during those hours. Before that, I took long breaks to avoid the crazy evening rush hour traffic..I am sure I am not the only cabbie who feels different about the evening rush hour now..

milleniumcab
February 18th, 2007, 12:49 AM
And since the last two fare hikes and addition of 1000 cabs, unless it is raining or something, I find myself looking for fares at all hours of the day.. Quite of my passengers agree with me on this; it is much easier to get a cab now then in the past...

milleniumcab
February 18th, 2007, 12:53 AM
milleniumcab, your opposition to pedicabs is probably 99% due to the fact that it means competition for you. So, it's bad for cabbies. An understandable, but personal, reason for you to oppose them. They may be good for the rest of us, however. It gives us another choice. I'm tired of never being able to get a cab when I need one. When a cab is empty, they're off-freaking-duty(often at the time they're most needed). Lo and behold, there's usually a pedicab ready and anxious to serve. They're obviously filling a need that the cabbies either won't, or can't. Otherwise no one would be climbing into those things.

If you go back and read my posts, you will see that competition is only one of many, many reasons why I oppose these parasites called pedicabs...

milleniumcab
February 18th, 2007, 01:09 AM
The ban on electric assist is getting a bit anal.

They should put a limit on the HP generated by these vehicles though. You do not ban things, you just put a number on them!

A bicycle is human powered vehicle and pedicabs are exactly that, a bicycle..Any assistance by any motor makes them a motor vehicle...And the law says that yellow taxies are the only motor vehicles that can pick up street hails..Unless they change that law, it is only proper for the City Council to ban motor assisted pedicabs..

Hey, pedicabs and the fans of pedicabs got their wish, they will be legal soon. Now you all feel sorry for the haulers..Pleeeease...

MidtownGuy
February 18th, 2007, 11:00 AM
recall mentioning that it is virtually impossible to stagger the shift change while keeping the profitibility for the driver.. I can't see that changing, really..

Ok then, you want to maximize your profit...understandable. But how can you expect us to be held hostage to a situation that you admit the cab industry will not/does not want to change? If the pedicabs are available, while you are driving around empty for whatever reason, that's good for ME, the person who needs the cab at that time. What, you expect me to go without a cab because it's not good for you at that moment? Too much rush hour traffic? Need a nice long break? Too bad for you, then, if someone steps in to take up the slack! That's the nature of the marketplace and of our society. I've read the other reasons you say you have for opposing these pedicabs, other than the threat of competition. I just don't think they're very honest or substantive.
And as for safety, there are plenty of accidents involving traditional cabs and their occasionally maniacal drivers.
Human powered modes of transport , whether pedicabs, rollerblades, bicycles or whatever, have a place on 21st century streets. The reasons have all been mentioned, including ecological concerns and undeniable demand, but it just seems they carry little weight with you because of your own vested interest.

milleniumcab
February 18th, 2007, 11:30 PM
Ok then, you want to maximize your profit...understandable. But how can you expect us to be held hostage to a situation that you admit the cab industry will not/does not want to change? If the pedicabs are available, while you are driving around empty for whatever reason, that's good for ME, the person who needs the cab at that time. What, you expect me to go without a cab because it's not good for you at that moment? Too much rush hour traffic? Need a nice long break? Too bad for you, then, if someone steps in to take up the slack! That's the nature of the marketplace and of our society. I've read the other reasons you say you have for opposing these pedicabs, other than the threat of competition. I just don't think they're very honest or substantive.
And as for safety, there are plenty of accidents involving traditional cabs and their occasionally maniacal drivers.
Human powered modes of transport , whether pedicabs, rollerblades, bicycles or whatever, have a place on 21st century streets. The reasons have all been mentioned, including ecological concerns and undeniable demand, but it just seems they carry little weight with you because of your own vested interest.

I have always asked my kids not to use the frase " WHATEVER" but I must admit sometimes it just fits perfectly....

Whatever....

lofter1
February 19th, 2007, 11:21 AM
If they do get rid of the Monster Spider Multi-Passenger Pedi-Cabs I'll have one less thing to roll my eyes at ... :rolleyes:

ZippyTheChimp
February 19th, 2007, 11:46 AM
The Drunkmobile.

lofter1
February 19th, 2007, 12:45 PM
LOL ^^^ That explains alot

Ninjahedge
February 20th, 2007, 10:35 AM
A bicycle is human powered vehicle and pedicabs are exactly that, a bicycle..Any assistance by any motor makes them a motor vehicle...

So a wheelchair is also a motor vehicle?

You are getting ANAL. They could put a full hemi on one of these things and it would still be a rickety plastic covered modern rickshaw.

You limit the HP to XX and you will never be threatened by them. Don't start pulling legal technicalities out to defend this MC....

A
nd the law says that yellow taxies are the only motor vehicles that can pick up street hails..Unless they change that law, it is only proper for the City Council to ban motor assisted pedicabs..

Nope, that is pressure from the TLC. The only thing proper about it is that it keeps you guys a little quieter about them even being there. You know that!


Hey, pedicabs and the fans of pedicabs got their wish, they will be legal soon. Now you all feel sorry for the haulers..Pleeeease...

I don't feel sorry for them. I am pissed off with both the Pedi and the Yellowcabs (sorry MC). From the lacidaisical observance of traffic law, to the almost china-like squeezing wherever you can get, both are guilty of being one of the major stress causers in the city. Hell, add delivery people who see red lights as a "suggestion" and we can just get more and more annoyed about walking through the city.

I am not sticking up for the underdog here MC, I am just tired of people splitting hairs in hopes of breaking their opponents backs.

Ninjahedge
February 20th, 2007, 10:38 AM
If they do get rid of the Monster Spider Multi-Passenger Pedi-Cabs I'll have one less thing to roll my eyes at ... :rolleyes:

I think those things are nothing more than a carnival ride and should be kept to, hell, carnivals!!!!

lofter1
February 20th, 2007, 11:29 AM
Is there any valid data which shows that the users of pedicabs take away fares from yellow cabs?

Or are we in the anecdotal area here?

To show that pedicabs negatively impact yellow cabs one would seemingly have to show that the number of taxi fares have decreased since the pedicabs hit the streets.

Given the increase in tourists / population I'd be surprised to see that yellow cabs have been negatively impacted.

But of course data could sway me ...

Ninjahedge
February 20th, 2007, 02:14 PM
I would agree with that. The only fares that these guys would be taking away would most likely be tourist and short haul (1/4-2mi). Although these are the moneybag trips for cabbies (because of initial cost) I do not see how they would be substantially hurting from these guys.

I do not LIKE them, but so long as they play by the rules (no red-light running, being courteous, etc etc...)

I would also like to see cabbies play by the rules as well. Hell, I would like everyone too play by the rules!!!! But some of these rules we really need to look at if we are to keep evolving as a city.

milleniumcab
February 20th, 2007, 04:26 PM
If they do get rid of the Monster Spider Multi-Passenger Pedi-Cabs I'll have one less thing to roll my eyes at ... :rolleyes:

Consider it done...:)

milleniumcab
February 21st, 2007, 07:03 PM
I do not LIKE them, but so long as they play by the rules (no red-light running, being courteous, etc etc...)

Today I saw a pedicab as I was crossing the Herald Square with a passenger in my cab, via 34th Street East bound. We watched the pedicab cross the square diagonally against the light..:eek:... My passenger said "anyone who rides one of them is simply out of their mind"....I replied to her, "well said"...

lofter1
February 21st, 2007, 07:54 PM
Today I saw a pedicab as I was crossing the Herald Square with a passenger in my cab, via 34th Street East bound. We watched the pedicab cross the square diagonally against the light ...

I see taxis do that on almost a daily basis. Not in Herald Square, but on the Avenues ... they'll be in the left lane and pick up a fare who wants to turn right -- so while the light is red they ease across the street via the cross walk and then tear off down the side street ...

I think to myself, "Anyone who rides in one of those must be crazy!" ;)

milleniumcab
February 23rd, 2007, 10:40 PM
Hiiiiimmm, I get your point but I think my scenario is a bit more scary than yours, don't you think?...

lofter1
February 24th, 2007, 05:01 PM
Not if you're walking :cool:

milleniumcab
February 25th, 2007, 12:34 AM
Not if you're walking :cool:

I had passengers in mind..;)

antinimby
March 15th, 2007, 12:27 AM
Poised to regulate pedicabs--mayor hesitates


By Justin Rocket Silverman, amNewYork Staff Writer
jsilverman@am-ny.com

March 15, 2007 (http://www.amny.com/news/local/am-pedicab0315,0,6183285.story)

In a first for his mayoralty, Michael Bloomberg Wednesday declined to sign legislation at a public ceremony, heeding last-minute comments from pedicab drivers who fear the law would destroy their growing industry.

The legislation would have severely restricted the industry, capping the numbers of drivers at 325 among other changes that drivers said would be onerous.

Seven speakers told Bloomberg that the pedicab regulations were an "industry death sentence."

After listening, Bloomberg put the bill aside, granting pedicab drivers the unexpected 11th hour reprieve.

"I still can't believe we had that effect on the mayor," said pedicab driver Melissa Ludwig, 27. "We spoke and he listened.

We reminded him of his plan to create a sustainable city by 2030. We said, 'Mayor Bloomberg, don't just talk the talk, walk the walk.'' Pedicab drivers tout their industry as an environmentally friendly way to get around town.

The package of regulations would mandate large insurance policies on an industry that has never suffered a fatality and prohibit the electrical assist motors some drivers use to ease their work.

The bill also would grant police the power to ban pedicabs from any part of the city for up to 14 days at a time and to close off midtown to pedicabs entirely during the busy Christmas holiday season.

The mayor has until March 30 to sign or to veto the bill. If Bloomberg takes no action, it will become law automatically.

"This shows bill signings are not just pro forma, that they are public hearings," said Stu Loeser, the mayor's press secretary. "Although most bills are signed with minimal public comment."

"You don't generally see what we saw today."

Ludwig said that before the mayor makes his final decision, she hopes he will accept her offer to give him his first ride in a pedicab--free of charge.

Copyright 2007 AM New York

antinimby
March 31st, 2007, 01:27 AM
Bloomberg Vetoes Bill Limiting Pedicabs

By RAY RIVERA
Published: March 31, 2007 (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/31/nyregion/31pedicab.html)

Saying the free market should dictate how many pedicabs roam the streets, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg vetoed a bill yesterday that would cap the number of pedicabs operating in the city at 325 and impose other regulations on the growing industry.

The move is certain to provoke a showdown with the City Council, which passed the bill last month. Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, who has had a largely cordial relationship with the Bloomberg administration, promised to push the Council to override the mayor’s action.

The veto was foreshadowed two weeks ago at a bill-signing ceremony when Mr. Bloomberg, who brought the original legislation to the Council and whose staff spent months negotiating its fine details, was swayed by last-second pleas from pedicab advocates and delayed signing the measure. He said then that he wanted more time to think about it. Yesterday was the deadline for him to take action.

In his weekly appearance yesterday on WABC radio, the mayor said that he agreed with much of the bill, including its enhanced safety and insurance requirements, but that he objected on “free marketplace” grounds to the cap, which pedicab advocates say would put some 175 drivers out of work.

“If the public wants more pedicabs, why shouldn’t the public be allowed to have more pedicabs?” Mr. Bloomberg asked. “And if the public doesn’t want them, then nobody’s going to drive them because they can’t make a living. So let the free marketplace decide.”

The mayor said he hoped the Council would return the bill to him without the cap, or with a higher cap of around 500, the estimated number of pedicab drivers currently on the street.

His action drew praise from pedicab supporters, who hope to use the reprieve to persuade the Council to strip the bill further. In particular, they hope to eliminate a provision that prohibits pedicabs from using electric-assist motors, small battery-powered engines that help them pedal. They also want measures in the bill removed that would allow the police to ban pedicabs from Midtown during certain periods.

The City Council passed its bill on Feb. 28 by a vote of 38 to 7 with 4 abstentions. Two-thirds of the 51 Council members, or 34 votes, are needed to override a veto.

Pedicab advocates along with Norman Siegel, a civil rights lawyer, and a handful of council members who voted against the bill began a campaign yesterday to try to sway additional council members and stop the override.
The Council has 30 days to strike down the veto.

“The reality is that many of my colleagues now have the opportunity to rectify a bill that was flawed,” said Councilman Hiram Monserrate of Queens, who voted against it. “I don’t always agree with the mayor, but I applaud him because he had a strong moral conscience when he decided not to sign this bill.”

But Ms. Quinn was unmoved yesterday.

“Anyone who has been to Columbus Circle or Times Square in recent years has seen the hundreds of pedicabs that circle around the streets,” she said.
“While most drivers are responsible, we need to establish clear rider guidelines and passenger rights, and make sure pedicabs don’t clog our streets or endanger pedestrians.”

The proliferation of the three-wheel conveyances around Times Square and the theater district has been an irritant to theater and hotel owners, who say the pedicabs cause congestion, and to taxi drivers, who say their licenses with the city give them exclusive rights to people who hail cabs. The taxi and hansom cab industries are both capped.

Michael Woloz, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Taxicab Board of Trade, said the number of pedicabs on the street was already unsustainable.

“Just because the industry has been allowed to grow unregulated for several years doesn’t mean the city should accept the current number of pedicabs that has only reached that level because of a lack of regulation,” Mr. Woloz said. “The city needs to come in and regulate this industry, and that includes a strict cap.”

Councilman Leroy Comrie of Queens, chairman of the consumer affairs committee, which held hearings on the bill, said he was disappointed at the mayor’s change of heart.

“Every facet of the pedicab issue was laid on the negotiating table and fully discussed,” he said.

Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

ablarc
March 31st, 2007, 11:41 AM
^ Good for Bloomberg !

milleniumcab
March 31st, 2007, 12:51 PM
What can I say!....:mad:

ablarc
March 31st, 2007, 12:59 PM
What can I say!....:mad:
You can say: "Live and let live."

milleniumcab
April 1st, 2007, 05:47 AM
I am usually first to say " live and let live "..... In this case I will reserve that for someoneelse......:mad:

milleniumcab
April 1st, 2007, 05:58 AM
It will all be clear, when they sue your and my ass for allowing these "nonsense" transportation option, one day in the future. And trust me , it will happen...We'll chat more when that happens, not before.... Norman Siegel, hiiihhh and I thought he was someone with a lot more common sense than he is showing here.. Boy, was I wrong............

BPC
April 1st, 2007, 09:13 AM
If the City is going to force us to sift through and sort our trash every day, in order to save the environment, then the City Council Members should be expected to contribute to the cause as well, by foregoing their bribes here from the taxi industry to kill off a green competitor.

ablarc
April 1st, 2007, 11:49 AM
...the City Council Members should be expected to contribute to the cause as well, by foregoing their bribes here from the taxi industry...
Just this once.

milleniumcab
April 1st, 2007, 05:19 PM
As for the environment, it is useless to add green anything without taking away non-green something....May I suggest to those EFPs taking all taxis away and replacing them with electric motor pedicabs...:rolleyes:

BPC
April 3rd, 2007, 01:58 AM
Not necessarily. The City's population is booming. The tourist population is booming. If some of the growth can be diverted to pedicabs, that is a good thing for all of us. Frankly, there is enough ridership to go around.

NewYorkDragon
April 3rd, 2007, 02:46 PM
Pedicabs look awesome but not something I'd take. I'd just rather take a cab.

I go to NBA-Magic games...and they are always out there in front of the arena after the game, willing to take you to your car. I've been tempted to take one -- but it's just not something that interests me.

NYCcouple
April 9th, 2007, 02:21 AM
.....I might be upset by City trying to regulate thus legitimize this non-sense, called pedi cabs...But for anyone to call us greedy and dangerous is way out of line...

.....The Daily News recently had an article about the SAFEST DRIVERS in NYC.. guess who they were... Yellow Cab Drivers.. not just any professional driver... YELLOW CAB DRIVERS....What made them safer than your... limo, livery, truck, city bus, any bus or your average driver who comes into the city.. I don't know ... why don't you check your Taxi & Limousine Commission web site or the archives of the Daily News...Study done by BRUCE SCHALLER.. a well respected individual by NYC and the transportation industry....

....Clean energy?????....If all the yellow cabs were Hybrid ( soon will be), would you have even mentioned the pollution issue..we don't pollute as much as the rest of the traffic monsters do..trucks?..SUV's?..super SUV's?.

.....And I never mentioned of any danger posed by the pedi cabs to pedestrians, they pose danger to themselves and their own passengers by the way they choose to drive, in and out of traffic...

Before you claim your unfounded statements in this forum, consider this..
You seem to have this negative (a very negative) opinion for the cab drivers and I don't know whether I can change that or not...But, personally my dear...... I don't give a damn.....:D



Pedi-cabs do not have any emissions, they are people-powered. Cars, hybrid or not still put out co2 and such. On a july night summer 2006 my ex and i went from the apple store on 5th to times square. It was a really beautiful night, and i can tell you right now, as a regular visitor, and soon-to-be citizen of NYC, that i regularly use the subway, i've used the busses, taxi's and even the LIRR. I can say that out of all of these, after a romantic night out, the pedicab is the way to go. I don't think the use of horses in an urban area like NYC is far to the animals, and it dirties the streets. I believe a cab is for point a to point b transportation in a hurry, pedicab is for relaxing time taking in the ambiance of the city as you get where you want to go. Finally, as a biker myself, i see no better way of fighting the obesity epidemic in this country than becoming a pedi-cab operator. In fact, i may become a pedi-cb operator myself if i feel so inclined. As a veteran biker, i can say that these cabs need 2 things, and 2 things only. Inspections, and good headlights.

clubBR
April 9th, 2007, 03:51 AM
You can say: "Live and let live."
Do you know where this phrase is from?

milleniumcab
April 9th, 2007, 08:30 AM
Pedi-cabs do not have any emissions, they are people-powered. Cars, hybrid or not still put out co2 and such. On a july night summer 2006 my ex and i went from the apple store on 5th to times square. It was a really beautiful night, and i can tell you right now, as a regular visitor, and soon-to-be citizen of NYC, that i regularly use the subway, i've used the busses, taxi's and even the LIRR. I can say that out of all of these, after a romantic night out, the pedicab is the way to go. I don't think the use of horses in an urban area like NYC is far to the animals, and it dirties the streets. I believe a cab is for point a to point b transportation in a hurry, pedicab is for relaxing time taking in the ambiance of the city as you get where you want to go. Finally, as a biker myself, i see no better way of fighting the obesity epidemic in this country than becoming a pedi-cab operator. In fact, i may become a pedi-cb operator myself if i feel so inclined. As a veteran biker, i can say that these cabs need 2 things, and 2 things only. Inspections, and good headlights.

Welcome to WNYF!.. Your post does not answer any of my comments yet you chose to quote me instead of just posting it... It seems like a commercial to promote pedicabs, even go as far as saying that you might drive one in the future.. Are you sure you are not already driving one?...:rolleyes:

Ninjahedge
April 9th, 2007, 08:56 AM
Actually MC, he is here to get yellowcabs outlawed in the city and ruin your life.

C'mon man! Lighten up! :rolleyes:

NYCcouple
April 9th, 2007, 12:32 PM
Actually MC, he is here to get yellowcabs outlawed in the city and ruin your life.

C'mon man! Lighten up! :rolleyes:


I take Yellowcabs all the time, and when i'm out on LI i use Four Seasons. If i lived in or near the city now i'd probably use my own electric bike. In fact that may be the next step, electric/pedal hybrid pedi-cabs, with ABS and better suspension etc. Who knows. All i know, is that more transportation options = more fun for NY'ers and touristas alike. It's like saying NJ transit should be shut down/limited because they take fares away from amtrak.

Ninjahedge
April 9th, 2007, 01:47 PM
NYCc...


They were talking about that, but the electrical assist engine has been argued against because it woudl change the definition of the vehicle to a "motor vehicle".

While I agree that so long as everything was self contained (Battery charge coming from braking/peddling and not a full electric powered vehicle) it would be welcome, I can also see that if they are going to start running electric scooters around the city that they fall into a different category than bicycles.....

NYCcouple
April 10th, 2007, 06:26 PM
NYCc...


They were talking about that, but the electrical assist engine has been argued against because it woudl change the definition of the vehicle to a "motor vehicle".

While I agree that so long as everything was self contained (Battery charge coming from braking/peddling and not a full electric powered vehicle) it would be welcome, I can also see that if they are going to start running electric scooters around the city that they fall into a different category than bicycles.....


It's the wattage and speed that determine the classification. I believe it is under 600 watts, and under 12 mph top speed. Electric bicycles like mine are different from what the pedicabs would use, because mine is focused on one rider/2 wheels. Just like under 50cc you don't need a motorcycle license (as far as i know, NY law could be different). They don't have a motor per-se, but they have a "boost" on the range and speed. There are also many types of electric assist techniques, some of which lay well outside the "motor vehicle" classification. I wish i knew more about NY laws of these classifications, but as far as i know there are still plenty of economical loopholes for electrification of the pedicab fleet.

Ninjahedge
April 11th, 2007, 09:14 AM
Read earlier on the thread here. I thin it was mentioned that they suggested this, but ANY motor was thrown out because of the motor vehicle classification.....

I am not arguing against it, just saying that I believe this point was already covered....

ZippyTheChimp
April 11th, 2007, 09:57 AM
It's the wattage and speed that determine the classification. I believe it is under 600 watts, and under 12 mph top speed. Electric bicycles like mine are different from what the pedicabs would use, because mine is focused on one rider/2 wheels. Just like under 50cc you don't need a motorcycle license (as far as i know, NY law could be different). They don't have a motor per-se, but they have a "boost" on the range and speed. There are also many types of electric assist techniques, some of which lay well outside the "motor vehicle" classification. I wish i knew more about NY laws of these classifications, but as far as i know there are still plenty of economical loopholes for electrification of the pedicab fleet.

NYS DMV FAQ (2/3 down the page):
http://www.nydmv.state.ny.us/dmvfaqs.htm#motor

Ninjahedge
April 11th, 2007, 10:27 AM
Motor-assisted Bicycle - a bicycle to which a small motor is attached. A motor-assisted bicycle does not qualify for a registration as a motorcycle, moped (http://www.nydmv.state.ny.us/dmvfaqs.htm#MOPEDS) or ATV (http://www.nydmv.state.ny.us/dmvfaqs.htm#ATVs) and does not have the same equipment.These devices are not allowed on any street, highway, parking lot, sidewalk or other area that allows public motor vehicle traffic. You are subject to arrest if you operate one of these motorized vehicles and do not have a registration, driver license, inspection, insurance or correct equipment. The DMV can not provide any information about operation of these devices on private property. Contact the local authorities and property owners.

Guess that answers that...

milleniumcab
April 11th, 2007, 11:29 PM
It certainly did...

ZippyTheChimp
April 18th, 2007, 08:11 AM
Gotham Gazette - http://www.gothamgazette.com/article/transportation/20070418/16/2151

Future of Pedicabs Remains Uncertain

by Bruce Schaller
18 Apr 2007

Are bicycle-powered pedicabs just a diversion for tourists or are they a legitimate form of mass transit? Mayor Michael Bloomberg's veto of a bill to regulate the city's pedicabs has kept alive debate about the role of the fledging bicycle taxi industry in the city.

A LEGISLATIVE COMPROMISE

The New York City Council recently passed a bill that represented a compromise between pedicab owners and powerful opponents of the industry, primarily taxi, hotel and restaurant owners.

The bill would establish a cap of 325 pedicabs in the city and require the cabs have $2 million in liability insurance, that drivers be licensed and that vehicles undergo inspection. The legislation would also ban the use of electric motors to help with pedaling and authorize the police department to restrict pedicabs from Midtown during the holiday season and from any Midtown street for up to 14 days at other times.

Pedicab owners supported insurance and other safety regulations to maintain standards and prevent pedicab owners who are not paying insurance from charging lower rates to the detriment of those owners who are insured. The owners, however, opposed the cap on the number of pedicabs, as well as the bans on operation during the holiday season and the use of electric assists.

THE MAYOR'S SURPISE VETO

Ironically, it was not pedicab owners but their drivers who prompted the mayor to veto the bill.

Drivers testified at what was expected to be a routine bill-signing ceremony that they feared losing their jobs – seemingly with good reason since the current number of pedicabs, estimated at up to 500, probably exceeds the new cap. After hearing from drivers, Bloomberg surprised everyone by declining to sign the bill and on March 31 announced his veto. During his weekly radio show, the mayor commented, "Let the free marketplace decide." He suggested that a cap of 500 would satisfy him.

It is not clear whether the City Council, which adopted the bill with than the two-thirds majority needed to override a mayoral veto, will vote to do so.

The New York Sun reported that City Council Speaker Christine Quinn will force through an override, while the Village Voice quotes the bill's sponsor, Councilmember Leroy Comrie, as saying the bill's fate is undecided. An override vote - if there is one - is expected to take place at the council meeting scheduled for April 23.

If the council overrides the mayor's veto, the bill would formalize the city's acceptance of the pedicab industry as part of the Midtown landscape while limiting the vehicles’ numbers and potentially restricting their operation during the most congested -- and most lucrative -- times of the year.

PEDICABS VS. TAXIS

The council’s regulatory scheme for pedicabs is similar in some ways to the long-established taxicab medallion system. The number of medallion cabs is limited by law to about 13,000 vehicles and the industry is subject to an extensive set of requirements for insurance and driver licensing.

Yet the medallion cabs are never banned from Midtown -- in fact, they are allowed special access to some bus lanes and provided with taxi stands at key locations.

Insurance requirements are actually lower for medallion cabs than for pedicabs under the bill, an ironic contrast given that cabs can travel at much higher speeds and are thus more likely to be involved in accidents causing severe injury.

Proponents of the bill say that the cap, insurance requirements and licensing regulations are important to prevent pedicabs from further clogging traffic, to protect against unfair competition with taxicabs for street hails, and to protect pedestrian safety. This view essentially sees pedicabs as an entertainment option for tourists. It thus makes sense to limit their number and operations to prevent the pedicabs from interfering with other users of Manhattan streets.

ALTERNATIVE TRANSPORTATION

Pedicab proponents paint them as a fast, safe and environmentally and passenger-friendly means of transportation.

Gregg Zukowski, a pedicab owner and driver, wrote in Gotham Gazette last year that because of its ability to weave through traffic, a pedicab can zip from Grand Central to Penn Station in eight minutes, while a taxicab could take 20 or 30 minutes. Pedicab drivers say that many of their riders are New Yorkers who value the faster ride or who cannot find a medallion taxi.

With the exception of one accident in which a private bus struck a pedicab in 2001, there have apparently been no major accidents involving pedicabs since their advent in New York City a decade ago. With pedal power, pedicabs do not contribute to either smog or global warming.

Leaders of several city transportation and environmental groups emphasized the environmental implications of the issue in a letter urging council members not to override the mayor’s veto. “If you are truly committed to protecting our environment and heading off environmental catastrophes such as those highlighted in the Academy Award winning film An Inconvenient Truth, you simply cannot vote in favor of legislation that is specifically designed to undermine evolving green industries,” the letter said.

Perhaps the greatest appeal of pedicabs is their passenger-friendly image, created by drivers who engage in conversation and will point out the sights along the way to tourists.

Pedicab owners implicitly point to a future Manhattan streetscape with fewer cars and cabs and more eco-friendly modes of transportation. Pedicabs would be part of this, joined by pedestrians, bicycles and clean-air buses, all of which use less street space per passenger mile traveled than cars or conventional cabs. There might be additions to this new transportation list; Vespa, the manufacturer of motorcycles and scooters, recently released a study that concluded that substituting motor scooters for cars would reduce global warming vehicle emissions in the city.

The council's bill does allow for changes in the future. The cap on the number of pedicabs would expire two years after the bill becomes law, unless the council renews it. Thus, neither this bill (nor a replacement that simply increased the numerical cap) really resolves the place of pedicabs in the city. The bill does take important steps toward making sure pedicabs are safe. But it does not settle the thornier issues about who should be using the city's congested streets and for what purposes.
Bruce Schaller, who has been in charge of the transportation topic page since its inception in 1999, is head of Schaller Consulting, which provides research and analysis about transportation. He is also a Visiting Scholar at the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management at New York University.

Gotham Gazette - http://www.gothamgazette.com/article/transportation/20070418/16/2151

BPC
April 19th, 2007, 07:01 PM
Efax the City Council to show your support for this emerging, "green" industry that makes this City a little cleaner and safer:

http://www.transalt.org/streetbeat/2007/Apr/0417_efax.html

[from Transportation Alternatives]

antinimby
April 19th, 2007, 07:08 PM
Thanks for the link.

I just did it--filled in my name and address and hit the submit button, very easy. ;)

MidtownGuy
April 20th, 2007, 07:36 PM
Me too. Just sent it.
:)

ablarc
April 20th, 2007, 08:38 PM
That was easy.

milleniumcab
April 24th, 2007, 03:09 AM
On the pedicab bill, The City Council voted to override the veto by the Mayor.. I, too, efaxed the Council and the Mayor, emailed to all newspapers and was present at the City Hall, yesterday, when actual voting took place... All I have left to say in this issue is this...:) COMMON SENSE PREVAILED :)...

Ninjahedge
April 24th, 2007, 09:08 AM
No, common dollars did. :(

antinimby
April 24th, 2007, 09:02 PM
I'm starting to hate yellow taxis. I promise I will never give them my business from now on. :mad:

This is nothing more than them trying to keep out competition and monopolize the industry.

You can force pedicabs to buy insurance and have permits and all but to put a limit, especially one that low, is not just ludricrous but just goes against the free-market and capitalist principles in which this country prides itself on.

This restriction on pedicabs is just phooey, that's all. Stupid City Council up to their stupid business as usual.

ablarc
April 24th, 2007, 09:39 PM
Bummer.

MidtownGuy
April 25th, 2007, 12:05 AM
:mad: :mad: :mad:

MidtownGuy
April 25th, 2007, 12:09 AM
Christine Quinn pushed and pushed to make sure they got this override.
I've been increasingly frustrated with her politics, what a witch she has turned out to be.

BPC
April 25th, 2007, 12:37 AM
Last week my sister and her 7 year old son were in town, visiting from Ohio. Can you believe a cab kicked her and her young child out of the cab and into the rain because the fare was too low? (They are from out of town and, like many tourists, did not realize this was illegal.) God forbid there might have been a pedicab there that wouldn't have rejected the business as unworthy. Looks like the taxi industry has bought enough votes in City Council to preserve their monopoly and their right to abuse passengers. Yippee!

milleniumcab
April 26th, 2007, 07:48 AM
The best fares for cabbies are short fares, especially in rainy days. It doesnt make sense to refuse a short fare in the rain.

BPC
April 26th, 2007, 08:23 AM
Cabbies get all shady in the rain, and don't pretend otherwise. For one thing, the % of "OFF-DUTY" lights goes up 20X, and then the cabs cruise by you and you have to call out your destination to them through their half-opened windows. Every New Yorker who uses cabs knows this routine.

As for short fares, I used to live a short distance (5 minute cab drive, 15 minute walk) from work, and on days when I was running late and needed to save those last 10 minutes, would take a cab. More often than not, the cabbie would berate me for wasting his time on such a worthless fare ($3.50, $5 with tip.)

Alonzo-ny
April 26th, 2007, 03:09 PM
The cabbies dont sound like they understand their own business! If cabs only had fares that only lasted 5 mins all day they would make a fortune.

Ninjahedge
April 26th, 2007, 04:04 PM
The cabbies dont sound like they understand their own business! If cabs only had fares that only lasted 5 mins all day they would make a fortune.

Unless, of course, it took them too long to get back in line near the PA or GC or wherever.

If this cabbie waits 15/20 minutes to inch through traffic to get a fare and it turns out to be a $5 fare, I can see why they would not be happy waiting another 20 minutes for the next one.

Now, they could probably get a fare quicker if they just kept away from GC and PA, but it is a definite thing if you go to the transportation hubs...


Just a thought...

NewYorkDoc
August 16th, 2007, 01:52 PM
If I didn't know any better, people in New York are trying to not be green...

Pedicabs Protest New Regulations (http://www.streetsblog.org/2007/08/16/pedicabs-protest-new-regulations/)

http://www.streetsblog.org/wp-content/uploads/2007/08_13/pedi1.jpg
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 (http://www.streetsblog.org/2007/04/17/pedi-politics/) "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.
http://www.streetsblog.org/wp-content/uploads/2007/08_13/pedi2.jpg

ZippyTheChimp
January 21st, 2008, 08:48 AM
PEDICABS ROLL TO VICTORY

By PATRICK GALLAHUE

January 18, 2008 -- Pedicab companies were riding high yesterday after a judge quashed a rule that made it more competitive for the ubiquitous rickshaw operators to obtain licenses.

"This decision does nothing less than save our industry," said New York City Pedicab Owners' Association President Peter Meitzler.

Last year, the City Council overrode Mayor Bloomberg's veto to cap the number of licenses at 325.

The Department of Consumer Affairs widened the pool of who was given preference for pedicab licenses, which pedicab advocate Chad Marlow said created a "stampede" for permits.

Instead, license preferences will go only to the owners of the pedicabs, according to the decision handed down by State Supreme Court Judge Edward Lehner.

The city was not pleased.

"The Department of Consumer Affairs will appeal the decision that struck down its rule that treated all pedicab-industry participants in an evenhanded manner," city attorney Gabriel Taussig said.

The 325 cap will remain in place before it reaches its built-in "sunset" date in two years, Marlow said.

patrick.gallahue@nypost.com

ablarc
January 21st, 2008, 08:56 AM
PEDICABS ROLL TO VICTORY
??


"This decision does nothing less than save our industry,"
???

ZippyTheChimp
January 21st, 2008, 11:13 AM
I know.

Read it after I posted.

What the?

Got it from Gotham Gazette, but a link to NY Post. Maybe that explains it.

Ninjahedge
January 21st, 2008, 05:41 PM
Saved the industry, or save the monopolistic pedicab "owners" that get preferential treatment and preference to licenses?

Merry
June 12th, 2009, 07:59 AM
June 12, 2009

Pedicab Safety Rules Were Never Put Into Effect

By MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/g/michael_m_grynbaum/index.html?inline=nyt-per)

It was a longstanding controversy over a booming city industry: should pedicabs — the pedal-powered rickshaws that delight tourists and bedevil taxis — be regulated?

The City Council (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/c/city_council_new_york_city/index.html?inline=nyt-org) passed a bill in 2007, and overrode a veto of it, only to see a court challenge from pedicab owners. That delayed imposing the rules for two years. An appeal was decided in April, but by then the debate had died down and key players hardly noticed.

Now, two months after the lawsuit ended, the city acknowledges that its safety and licensing provisions are still not being enforced — a lack of oversight highlighted by an accident on Wednesday at the foot of the Williamsburg Bridge in Brooklyn, where a taxi collided with a speeding pedicab. The pedicab driver was seriously injured.

Pedicab owners said that there was no excuse for the police and city to ignore the safety laws enacted by the Council. City officials said their hands have been tied.

It was not supposed to be this complicated. The law called for a licensing system that would issue permits to pedicabs and require them to display registration plates, carry insurance, and install seat belts and hydraulic brakes, among other measures.

The Department of Consumer Affairs (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/c/consumer_affairs_department/index.html?inline=nyt-org) issued rules to carry out the law in July 2007. That prompted the pedicab owners to sue, arguing that the licensing process would allow inexperienced drivers to gain permits and hurt established businesses. The rules were thrown out by a judge, and an appellate court concurred.

The next step was for the city’s Department of Consumer Affairs to create a new set of rules to issue permits.

But so far, that has not happened. And in the interim, the safety provisions — including a ban on bridge travel — are not being enforced.

“It doesn’t make any sense: if we’re arguing over who gets registration plates, that doesn’t change the law that you have to have seat belts,” said Chad Marlow, a lawyer who represents the New York City Pedicab Owners Association.

“We begged the city, for the sake of safety, to please enforce these things before someone gets hurt,” Mr. Marlow said. City officials said that the safety rules were intended to apply to licensed pedicabs; without a licensing process, they say, the rules are moot.

“Until you can figure out who can have a license, you can’t begin to enforce some or all of the regulations,” said Jonathan Mintz, the city’s commissioner of consumer affairs.

But he declined to say when the new licensing procedure would be put in place.

“This is not a question of me initialing the bottom of a piece of paper, and tomorrow everyone’s out there regulating,” Mr. Mintz said, noting that the process requires public hearings and other time-consuming steps that could take months. “We are anxious to start regulating, as we were two years ago,” he added.

Officials noted that some provisions of the law can be enforced only through formal inspections, a difficult option when the city has not issued licenses to begin with.

But what about a pedicab that carries too many passengers, or does not have any seat belts? Can a police officer flag it down?

No, according to the city’s lawyers: police officers would have to be trained about rules that may change again in a matter of months. And they say a piecemeal enforcement of the law is not an option.

In the meantime, the Police Department considers pedicabs to be bicycles, and is enforcing applicable traffic laws. “We are treating them as bicycles until the lawsuit is clarified,” said Paul J. Browne, a spokesman for the Police Department. Informed that the suit was over, Mr. Browne said, “I’m not aware of that,” and referred further questions to the city’s lawyers.

And at least one other official expressed surprise on Thursday that the suit was over. “I hadn’t heard that,” said Councilman Leroy G. Comrie Jr., a sponsor of the original bill. “I’ve been working on the budget. I haven’t paid much attention to it at all.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/12/nyregion/12pedicab.html?ref=nyregion

milleniumcab
June 13th, 2009, 12:19 AM
June 12, 2009

Pedicab Safety Rules Were Never Put Into Effect

By MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/g/michael_m_grynbaum/index.html?inline=nyt-per)


In the meantime, the Police Department considers pedicabs to be bicycles, and is enforcing applicable traffic laws.

Enforcing my ass...:mad:

KenNYC
June 13th, 2009, 01:17 AM
A couple of days ago I saw a pedicab rider throw a rock through the window of a (regular) cab. I am not sure what the deal was about, but some massive argument ensued - not surprisingly.

milleniumcab
June 13th, 2009, 10:20 AM
A couple of days ago I saw a pedicab rider throw a rock through the window of a (regular) cab. I am not sure what the deal was about, but some massive argument ensued - not surprisingly. Anyone with an open mind who is paying attention to whats happening with pedicabs should realize they are a out of control with their behavior.. There are absouletly no rules for them, they feel like anything goes...

KenNYC
June 14th, 2009, 12:36 AM
Seems to be true. I think the pedicabs are great around, or more precisely in, Central Park, but I cannot for the life of me understand what business they have around the city streets elsewhere.

stache
June 14th, 2009, 03:43 AM
Much like the horses -

KenNYC
June 14th, 2009, 07:04 AM
True, but I really don't see the horses below 57th much, nowhere near as frequently as the pedicabs in any way

milleniumcab
June 14th, 2009, 07:48 PM
True, but I really don't see the horses below 57th much, nowhere near as frequently as the pedicabs in any wayThe only time you will see horses below 57th street is when they are coming from or going to their stables..

Ninjahedge
June 15th, 2009, 09:10 AM
Well, unless you are talking about the Police horses, which you will see almost anywhere.

Or, at least, "signs" of them everywhere. :(


The problems I have with the Pedicabs are simple.

1. They do not follow traffic rules. They weave through traffic, they ride in bus lanes, they squeeze through red lights. They should be ticketed for that.

2. They park EVERYWHERE and ANYWHERE they can. That can be a real PITA for anyone walking crosstown after work on a Wednesday/Thursday (I think those are the matinée days? All I know is a lot of show-goers seem to be out about 6 or so....)

If they were smart, they would have passed two bills. First being a Pedicab safety bill that would require certain things like seatbelts, lights, brakes and the like.

The SECOND should be licensing. Don't hold up one for the other!


BTW:

a lack of oversight highlighted by an accident on Wednesday at the foot of the Williamsburg Bridge in Brooklyn, where a taxi collided with a speeding pedicab.

How th hell was the Pedicab speeding?

lofter1
June 15th, 2009, 10:19 AM
By zooming down the slope of the Bridge as it heads onto Manhattan.

Apparently fueled by some all-night antics, at least as indicated in the news report.

milleniumcab
June 16th, 2009, 12:56 AM
Stalled Plan to License Pedicabs Advances

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/ads/fox/article-sponsor.gifhttp://graphics8.nytimes.com/adx/images/ADS/20/36/ad.203618/mlir_120x60_b_nowplaying.gif (http://www.nytimes.com/adx/bin/adx_click.html?type=goto&page=www.nytimes.com/yr/mo/day/nyregion&pos=Frame4A&sn2=be39a6a9/d502c4ce&sn1=2a97344/e7d19d57&camp=foxsearch2009_emailtools_1011074c_nyt5&ad=MyLife_NowPlaying_120x60_c_06-05&goto=http://www.foxsearchlight.com/mylifeinruins)
By MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/g/michael_m_grynbaum/index.html?inline=nyt-per)
Published: June 15, 2009
The city will move forward with its long-stalled regulation of pedicabs, officials said on Sunday, four days after an accident in Brooklyn seriously injured a driver and focused attention on the lack of oversight of the tourist-friendly tricycles.
Owners of the pedal-powered cabs would have a 60-day window to register with the city, under a proposal announced by the mayor and the City Council (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/c/city_council_new_york_city/index.html?inline=nyt-org) speaker. Those who provide proof of ownership and insurance would receive a license, providing that their vehicles pass a safety examination.
The proposed rules are a shift from the city’s first attempt at regulating the industry in 2007, when the city insisted on a limit to the number of licenses it would issue. Pedicab owners sued, arguing the cap would hurt established businesses, and regulation was held up for two years.
The lawsuit was resolved in April, and the licensing cap was thrown out. In the meantime, safety laws enacted in 2007 — including the requirement of seat belts, turn signals and emergency brakes — have not been enforced. Last week, a pedicab collided with a taxi at the foot of the Williamsburg Bridge, injuring the pedicab driver and two passengers.
Advocates for regulation said the city should have enforced rules that made it illegal for pedicabs to travel on bridges, but the city said it was powerless until a licensing procedure could be established.
Sunday’s proposal was an attempt to end that impasse, but enforcement may still be a few weeks or months away. The proposal must wind its way through the legislative review process, and city officials have said their hands are tied on regulation until the new procedure becomes law. (The first public hearing for the bill is set for the end of month.)
But one potential hurdle may have been cleared: Pedicab owners who sued over the original licensing plan said they had no qualms with the new proposal.
“This is really what we had been hoping for from the beginning,” said Chad Marlow, a lawyer for the New York City Pedicab Owners Association (http://www.nycpedicabassociation.org/). “We think we’ll be the most vigilant supporters of the bill out there.”
City officials said the plan had been in the works since April, when the lawsuit was resolved.
“To say the mayor and the speaker saw this accident and they’re jumping into action because of that, that would take credit away from them,” Mr. Marlow said.
The bill would require pedicabs to display a fare card, owner information and contacts so passengers can file complaints. The city would revisit licensing rules after 18 months. The original rules limited licenses to 325; owners estimated that there were about 1,000 pedicabs in the city.
One pedicab operator said Sunday that the new rules could still put established companies at a disadvantage. “It leaves the window wide open for anyone who is going to speculate on this and say, ‘If I’m going to jump in the pedicab business, now’s my time,’ ” said Robert Tipton, owner of Mr. Rickshaw.
“An accident is always an unfortunate thing to have happen,” he said. “But if there is any good that’s coming out of it, pedicabs in New York City should be safer after this.”



There had to be an accident with injuries to make them speed the process. Isn't that always the case?.. Thank god there were no fatalities!...

milleniumcab
June 16th, 2009, 01:01 AM
But unfortunately, fatality will be an unescapeable reality, sooner rather than later, with pedicabs..

scumonkey
September 22nd, 2009, 10:09 AM
From the NYPost:
Attack on pedi crime

Central Pk. targeted

By SALLY GOLDENBERG
Last Updated: 5:23 AM, September 22, 2009
Posted: 2:48 AM, September 22, 2009

The city yesterday slapped pedicabs swarming Central Park with tough new rules.
The Parks Department's strict regulations -- which have the industry fuming -- include requiring pedicabs to operate in the right lane of traffic, thereby banning them from the bike lanes they sometimes occupy.
Pedicabs will also be forbidden from displaying advertisements at times when other traffic is not allowed in the park.
Vehicles are allowed in Central Park -- the only Manhattan park that allows driving -- primarily during rush hours on weekdays, but pedicabs can enter at any time.

Also under the new rules, pedicabs will be prohibited from areas where taxis and carriages make pick-ups.
"There have never been rules for pedicabs before," Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe (http://www.nypost.com/t/Adrian_Benepe) told The Post.
"There's been a huge proliferation of pedicabs in Central Park, and only in Central Park."
Over the past few years the average number of bike cabs operating each weekend has jumped from a handful to more than 200, Benepe said.
The new rules will go into effect in late November, after a public hearing Oct. 21 at the Chelsea Recreation Center.
Chad Marlow, an attorney for the New York City Pedicab Owners Association, accused the city of burdening an industry that brings in tourism revenue.
"It's somewhat hypocritical for the city as a whole to be promoting pedicabs to tourists -- and the mayor himself calling them a unique part of the fabric of this city -- and then at the same time, the Parks Department turns around and basically bans us at their whim," Marlow said. He indicated he would not sue over the new rules because "government officials are given the right by the courts to do very smart or very dumb things."
Marlow said pedicabs are safe to operate in bike lanes and took exception to the advertising restriction, calling it "a completely nonsensical rule" that operators wouldn't be allowed to display ads during weekends when the park is car-free.
"Literally it's obscene," he said. "If you try to make a little extra money [from ads], you're welcome to it, but you can't set foot in our parks? That's ridiculous. There's no rationale other than to single out pedicabs."

Ninjahedge
September 22nd, 2009, 11:46 AM
The no-ads thing is a bit weird.... Maybe they need to standardize the ads that are permitted. No electronic sounds or lights, simple placard measuring no more than AxB, etc etc....

As for the Bike Lanes, I think that is right on in that these guys drive slow, take up the entire lane, and make weird turns and stops. They should either follow the law for Bikes OR Cars, not both, and not at their whim.

milleniumcab
September 22nd, 2009, 11:59 PM
They should either follow the law for Bikes OR Cars, not both I am sorry NH but i did not realize we had different set of traffic rules for bikes and cars...:confused:... Can you expand on that please?..

milleniumcab
September 23rd, 2009, 12:08 AM
From the NYPost:
Attack on pedi crime


Chad Marlow, an attorney for the New York City Pedicab Owners Association, accused the city of burdening an industry that brings in tourism revenue.
Oh yeaa!.. I wonder how many tourists come to NYC just to ride the Pedicabs?...

lofter1
September 23rd, 2009, 12:17 AM
I thought this turn of events might bring you in from the cold, MC ...

milleniumcab
September 23rd, 2009, 12:18 AM
:)))))))))) Couldn't help myself!...

Ninjahedge
September 23rd, 2009, 08:53 AM
I am sorry NH but i did not realize we had different set of traffic rules for bikes and cars...:confused:... Can you expand on that please?..

Bike Lanes, Car Lanes, common courtesy (bikes, for some reason feel they are half pedestrian, half car. They cross at crosswalks in either direction, but drive in traffic).

They jaywalk, they basically follow whatever rules or courtesies they feel like following. Laws? Probably not, but what I see in NYC is not what I remember way-back-when when I was taught how to ride.

stache
September 23rd, 2009, 01:16 PM
Well, the wheel was still a novelty at that time. :p

ZippyTheChimp
September 23rd, 2009, 02:43 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QezLMRzuWoY&feature=related

Ninjahedge
September 23rd, 2009, 03:17 PM
Caaaahnt U-Tube it here at work... :P


And yeah, they had wheels, but they just learned how to Vulcanize Rubber. The old metal ones really hurt!!!!! :p

stache
September 23rd, 2009, 04:48 PM
LOL Zippy!

milleniumcab
October 3rd, 2009, 02:22 AM
....:rolleyes:....

scumonkey
October 6th, 2009, 06:02 PM
from gothamist:

Video: Cabbie Vs. Pedicab Driver in Midtown Brawl

http://gothamist.com/2009/10/06/video_cabbie_vs_pedicab_driver_in_m.php

Alonzo-ny
October 6th, 2009, 06:59 PM
The funniest thing about that is the pedicab driver referred to his bike as a 'cab'. I don't think so. It's a glorified rickshaw.

milleniumcab
October 7th, 2009, 12:21 AM
I read the comments for the Video. There are a lot of people who seem to think that Yellow Cab drivers are reckless and dangerous. It might seem so but the fact of the matter is this: ....."NYC YELLOW CAB DRIVER IS THE SAFEST OF ALL THE PROFESSIONAL DRIVERS IN THE CITY".... ( Source; BRUCE SCHALLER book of Taxi Facts)

Lets come to this idiotic video. This Forum knows how I feel about Pedisasters. They are a menace to NYC....There is really not much more I can say that I did not say before.. It is about time one of them got his ass kicked by a TRUE CABBIE in NYC.

lofter1
October 7th, 2009, 12:32 AM
That vid could very well lead to very stringent controls placed upon pedicabs. It's like a manual showing a dozen or more things that pedicabbers do on a regular basis, none of which are in the public interest.

milleniumcab
October 7th, 2009, 12:41 AM
I really hope so!......

Ninjahedge
October 7th, 2009, 03:05 PM
It has got to be two fold.

The Pedi was wrong for throwing their coffee at the cab, but coffee on a cab is no reaso to cut someone off and start fighting (I don't care who threw the first punch, when someone charges you, it is not exactly the time for rational thought).

I think the PC driver was wrong in what he did, and wrong with the can (grow up!!!), but the cabbie was also wrong in his response. This is indicitive or more than just one problem here and something has to eb done to prevent it from happening again, on BOTH sides.

milleniumcab
October 7th, 2009, 03:09 PM
Like banning Pedisasters..:))

lofter1
October 7th, 2009, 03:32 PM
Pedicabber is seen pedaling at ease in a traffic lane, when there is a brand new dedicated bike lane 20 feet away.

A rule has to be made where the pedicabbers can travel.

Leaving aside the assault aspect of this situation ...

While fleeing the scene of an accident (illegal) the pedicabber drives across 3 lanes of traffic in a crosswalk. Is this OK?

And then he drives up onto the sidewalk and goes a full block there. Also illegal.

Pedicabbers seem to have no sense of boundaries where or how they can drive. Enticing a potential fare seems to be the only concern.

Granted many (most?) cabbies violate all sorts of traffic laws (illegal turns, illegal parking & standing, crossing lanes, HORNS, etc.) all the time.

Unfortunately, enforcement is nearly impossible in most cases (how many traffic cops can the city supply?).

Merry
October 18th, 2009, 01:16 AM
Three Wheels Through the Park

By ARIEL KAMINER

(see article for video)

The bride stood out against the backdrop of Central Park: The temperature was in the 50s, yet she had nothing more on her torso than a lace bustier.

Below, her dress was as voluminous as an inflated parachute, dragging as she hobbled along the path.

I was gliding along comfortably in the back of a pedicab, with plenty of room next to me on the seat. So I offered her a lift.

The look she gave me was not gratitude. After a few more friendly entreaties, the groom caught up to us. “She doesn’t want to,” he said. With that, they turned off the path and she hobbled onward, juggling various hems.

I was stunned. Did she just reject my chivalrous offer? Could I possibly look that weird? Then I thought: Oh wait, she’s seen the video.

If you have not caught it on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qsXA6XMi63w) or the evening news, the video shows a pedicab driver getting into a brawl with a taxi driver on Broadway, and it has given pedicabs — already viewed as suspect — an unwelcome moment in the spotlight. In June, one got into an accident (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/11/nyregion/11pedicab.html?scp=2&sq=pedicab%20driver&st=cse) after crossing the Williamsburg Bridge into Brooklyn, where pedicabs are not allowed in the first place. By the time a Fox 5 cameraman caught the pedicab driver hurling a garbage can at the taxi driver, the whole fleet was in for a whupping.

Now the City Council has passed a law requiring all pedicabs — there’s no reliable figure for how many are on the road — to be inspected and registered by Nov. 20. “Pedicabs have been for too long acting like they rule the streets ahead of any other mode of transportation,” City Councilman Leroy G. Comrie Jr. told The New York Post.

Having never thought to ride one — any more than one of those ridiculous party bikes (which probably are fun if you’re drunk enough to get on) — I had to wonder, could pedicabs really be that bad? Worse even than buses, the oblivious, lumbering bullies of the city streets? So I spent a few days being driven around on three wheels, and even on occasion taking the handlebars myself. Let’s just say I do better in the back than in the front.

The drivers who congregate at 58th Street and Seventh Avenue said they were delighted someone was finally going to regulate their business. They take their jobs seriously, and say people who don’t should be kept off the road.

Bernard Treanor, a driver for six years, has an impeccable pedigree: He trained with George Bliss, an industrial designer, who started one of the city’s first pedicab companies in 1995. “We were all actors and musicians,” said Mr. Treanor, who recently appeared in an independent film (http://www.hope-themovie.com/) and is writing a novel about Central Park. “We needed to do this so we could hit our auditions.”

Today, many drivers are recent immigrants who rent pedicabs by the week (around $200 in summer, as low as $80 in January). Before, “the only thing in these guys’ way was maybe, like, a random goat,” he said. “And now they’re guiding a family through Times Square?” It’s turning police officers, who used to cheer him on, into enemies, he said.

I felt a little silly the first time I climbed into the back seat, but despite the autumn chill I warmed to it quickly. As with riding a bicycle, you see things at that pace that you can’t see from a car, and you get to put your feet up in a way you obviously can’t while walking. If your driver is full of interesting historical information, great, sit back and learn. If not, tell him to shut up (but apologize with a tip).

After a few rides, I persuaded a driver to let me try. It’s hard to keep the wheel straight, and during turns I kept thinking it was going to tip over, as a bicycle might. (A girly shriek ensued.) Of course there’s almost no way to tip over: the vehicles are solidly balanced on three wheels, with a lot of ballast keeping them that way. Especially if your driver hops in the back, as mine eventually did, then invites his friend in, too. By that point I was laughing too hard to go very far. I got no tip.

More seriously, it’s about as green a conveyance as anyone is ever going to find. But what do the tourists who typically ride them care about keeping our streets and our air clear? Perhaps, I started to think, pedicabs are being wasted on their passengers — and perhaps that is part of the reason they’re largely reviled. What if New Yorkers exercised eminent domain and reclaimed these overgrown tricycles for our own daily use?

To lead the way, I tried hiring a pedicab to run a few errands: dry cleaning, deli, the basics. Fine. But when I thought about visiting Aunt Frances at Mount Sinai Hospital, I found that at about $1 per minute or per block, what would be $15 in a taxi would be a trip to the A.T.M. in a pedicab. Fail.

I turned to Mr. Bliss for guidance. “The goal when I started this was that the pedicabs would actually be less money than a yellow cab,” he said.
He began that experiment downtown, where he thought people would be open to the idea, but he found they were too self-conscious to ride in a pedicab. It worked for a while in Midtown, but today, he said, sounding melancholy to the point of despair, the dream is dead.

“The pedicab industry itself became self-marginalizing,” he said. “It became more and more tourist oriented, less transportation oriented. We need drivers who are educated, fluent in languages. They need to be ambassadors to the city.”

We also need stricter regulation of the fleet, he said, and electric-assisted pedicabs — which he developed with a state grant, but the city does not allow. In short, we need the city to decide that a fleet of law-abiding, low-cost vehicles that consume no gas, is in everyone’s interest.

Take that to its logical conclusion and you get people commuting by rickshaw, exchanging newspaper sections with the guy in the next lane at a red light. Kids picked up after school by a parent on three wheels who has already stopped for groceries. A bride in Central Park accepting a lift from a pushy but well-meaning stranger. Wouldn’t you like to live in that city?
It seems a lot of people would say no.

In 2007, a city councilman was quoted in the Village Voice saying that pedicabs caused pollution by increasing congestion. Perhaps he’s right; perhaps pedicabs and cars cannot coexist in Manhattan. Maybe it’s not safe to have three wheels darting in and out of four-wheel traffic. Maybe the time has come to make a change. How about we get rid of the cars?

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/18/nyregion/18critic.html?ref=nyregion

milleniumcab
October 18th, 2009, 02:38 AM
^^^ A Hopeless Romantic or a Hopeless Green-Peace Activist?. :rolleyes:..There is got to be a limit to every Madness...

lofter1
October 18th, 2009, 10:13 AM
Stalled Plan to License Pedicabs Advances

June 15, 2009

The city will move forward with its long-stalled regulation of pedicabs, officials said on Sunday, four days after an accident in Brooklyn seriously injured a driver and focused attention on the lack of oversight of the tourist-friendly tricycles.

Owners of the pedal-powered cabs would have a 60-day window to register with the city, under a proposal announced by the mayor and the City Council (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/c/city_council_new_york_city/index.html?inline=nyt-org) speaker. Those who provide proof of ownership and insurance would receive a license, providing that their vehicles pass a safety examination.





Three Wheels Through the Park

... the City Council has passed a law requiring all pedicabs — there’s no reliable figure for how many are on the road — to be inspected and registered by Nov. 20. “Pedicabs have been for too long acting like they rule the streets ahead of any other mode of transportation,” City Councilman Leroy G. Comrie Jr. told The New York Post.


The legislation is a good move by the City, explained here in a report from last July ...

Council Adopts Pedicab Rules

NY TIMES (http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/29/council-adopts-overhaul-of-pedicab-regulation/)
By SIMON AKAM
JULY 29, 2009

As expected, the City Council unanimously passed a bill on Wednesday afternoon to license and regulate pedicabs, seven weeks after one of the vehicles collided with a yellow taxicab at the foot of the Williamsburg Bridge.

“While we want to support greener transit options, we need to make sure that businesses like the pedicab industry are operating as safely and responsibly as possible,” Christine C. Quinn, the Council’s speaker, said in a statement.

“This legislation strikes a balance that makes our streets safer and greener,” she added.

The new law will create a 60-day period for owners to apply for pedicab business licenses and registration plates and will limit business owners from operating more than 30 pedicabs at one time.

Businesses will be required to provide safety training for pedicab drivers, and there will be increased penalties for those who do not obtain proper licensing.

Councilman Daniel R. Garodnick, a Manhattan Democrat, was one of the bill’s sponsors.

“Today the absence of regulation of pedicabs creates some very dangerous and chaotic situations for pedicabs, bystanders and drivers,” he said after the measure passed, 47 to 0.

“We need to address that and that’s what we did today.”

Pedicab licenses will be issued by the Department of Consumer Affairs.

“Today the City Council voted in favor of an amendment to the city’s pedicab law that at long last will allow this department to hold this industry accountable for safe and fair operations for New Yorkers and tourists alike,” the department’s commissioner, Jonathan Mintz, said in a statement.

“D.C.A. now will be able to begin the speedy but careful process of inspecting each and every pedicab that would operate on the city’s streets,” he added.

Chad A. Marlow, the president of the Public Advocacy Group, testified in June on behalf of the New York City Pedicab Owners’ Association at a City Hall hearing to thrash out the details of the new bill.

“This is fairly close to the exact regulatory law the pedicab industry has been seeking for five years,” he said on Wednesday.

When this bill becomes law, New York’s streets will be reserved only for the pedicab industry’s safest drivers and most responsible owners.”

Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company

Ninjahedge
October 19th, 2009, 09:10 AM
They need to go further and try to define more set rules for the PC industry. Mainly in the realm of traffic laws, which to follow. They are too big and dominant to be relegated to the bike lanes (they take the entire lane) and their erratic driving patterns are a risk to all.

But there is no clear word on the rules they have to follow. Maybe some should be re-written with their names SPECIFICALLY included?

ZippyTheChimp
October 19th, 2009, 10:02 AM
Mainly in the realm of traffic laws, which to follow.All of them.

Ninjahedge
October 19th, 2009, 01:42 PM
Ha ha.

I am serious though. Are they bicycles or are they "motor vehicles" for the purposes of traffic regulation?

ZippyTheChimp
October 19th, 2009, 03:15 PM
I'm serious too.

All vehicles have to obey traffic regulations.

Motor vehicles require added regulations, such as vehicle inspection, minimum age and licensing of drivers, insurance, etc.

A licensed pedicab would fall somewhere between the two, closer to motor vehicles.

Ninjahedge
October 19th, 2009, 04:27 PM
And that is the problem. I don't think they have officially stated HOW close. That and the cops really have not been policing them very much (I rarely see one pulled over, and I have often seen them doing what I would consider not just "aggressive" but downright offensive driving.)

They need a clear, unmistakable set of rules they have to follow concerning not only just driving, but also where and how they are allowed to pick people up, etc. Until you have something like that, it is kind of a hodge podge of regulations that sorta fit for one situation or another......

milleniumcab
October 20th, 2009, 01:23 AM
They do not want to be called " Motor Vehicles". That would be a disaster for them. Not only "Motor Vehicles" access to CP is limited, also street hails are exclusively for Yellow Medallion Taxis. All other for-hire motor vehicles must have pre-arrangement to pick up in NYC streets. Trust me, the people who are leading this pedisaster movement know that too. But they are vehicles after all thus must obey all traffic laws and stay away from taxi stands. These are some of the rules as far as I know but not all..

What I am hoping will happen is that all these regulations and insurance requirement is going to minimize their numbers and the few who is going to operate will be responsible individuals.

But that remains to be seen...:rolleyes:

lofter1
October 20th, 2009, 09:41 AM
Why shouldn't pedicabs be allowed to do U-Turns in the middle of the block / use cross-walks to get to the other side of the street in order to pick up a fare? Or be able to park / hang out in no standing / no parking zones? Or maneuver against the traffic on one-way streets?

Hell, why not let them use the sidewalks while they're at it?

ZippyTheChimp
October 20th, 2009, 10:20 AM
They do not want to be called " Motor Vehicles". That would be a disaster for them. Not only "Motor Vehicles" access to CP is limited, also street hails are exclusively for Yellow Medallion Taxis. All other for-hire motor vehicles must have pre-arrangement to pick up in NYC streets.You're missing the point here.

Pedicabs aren't motor-vehicles by their nature. The rules you cite about street hails are for motor-vehicles, differentiating between yellow medallion cabs and limos or "gypsy cabs."

Whatever rules are ultimately set up for pedicabs have nothing to do with the TLC. They are a different form of transportation than taxicabs.

Pedicabs however are vehicles, and all vehicles are subject to the same traffic rules.

Ninjahedge
October 20th, 2009, 10:55 AM
Which few follow, and even fewer are enforced.

milleniumcab
October 20th, 2009, 11:07 AM
Pedicabs aren't motor-vehicles by their nature. At the beginning, when City Council was deliberating on how to best control Pedidasters, Pedicab owners pushed for Electric Motor Assisted Pedicabs. City Council turned it down, citing some of the reasons I gave..



Whatever rules are ultimately set up for pedicabs have nothing to do with the TLC. They are a different form of transportation than taxicabs.The TLC did not want to do anything whatsoever with regulating this form of transportation and they expressed that loud and clear.. If I am not mistaken, it is now Consumer Affairs' job to regulate Pedicabs..

ZippyTheChimp
October 20th, 2009, 11:50 AM
At the beginning, when City Council was deliberating on how to best control Pedidasters, Pedicab owners pushed for Electric Motor Assisted Pedicabs.I understand that. But those would have been considered motor-vehicles. Not the same as a human powered tricycle.

Merry
November 18th, 2009, 06:15 AM
Licensing Deadline Looms for Pedicab Owners

By SARAH MASLIN NIR

Get licensed or get out, is the message from the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs to the city’s pedicab professionals, who have until Friday to obtain business licenses and register their vehicles or else close up shop. The Nov. 20 deadline marks the end of a 60-day period in which the city invited pedicab operators to apply to become licensed, a process that entails submitting their rickshaws to a rigorous inspection, and retrofitting them with things like seat belts and turn signals to bring them up to new safety standards outlined in the law.

“Friday is an end and a beginning; it’s the end of a very, very long process in which the pedicab has been seeking regulation,” said Chad Marlow, a spokesman for the New York City Pedicab Owners’ Association, a group of about 70 rickshaw business owners who have pushed for the new rules. They include pedicab licenses for drivers who were unlicensed.

The city’s commissioner of consumer affairs, Jonathan B. Mintz, said in an interview that the move toward licensing would address concerns expressed over years about safety.

“There has been a significant concern, including from those in the industry, that an unregulated and rapidly growing industry posed some concerns to public safety,” he said. Though the city law setting the licensing requirements was adopted by the City Council two years ago, business owners sued because they were unsatisfied with certain points. A final compromise version went into effect two months ago.

After Friday, no business licenses will be issued for 18 months, after which point, the city will reassess its decision. There is no deadline for applying for a pedicab driver’s license — those will continue to be issued.

Although pedicabs entered the city’s streetscape around the mid-1990s, they became prevalent — some would say too prevalent — only about five years ago. At first, the human-powered carts had no oversight except by voluntary groups founded by those in the business, like the owners’ association.

In the industry’s early days, regulation wasn’t necessary because the small number of operators held one another accountable, said the association’s president Gregg Zukowski, who owns 22 pedicabs he rents out to drivers from his company, Revolution Rickshaws.

After Sept. 11, 2001, according to Mr. Zukowski, when pedicabs gained national attention and positive P.R. by ferrying people to cordoned-off areas downtown, the number of drivers and vehicles boomed. Industry estimates put the number now at more than 1,000. “The industry is taking its next steps into a more responsible era,” Mr. Zukowski said, “It got very big and unwieldy and it needed a little help from the city to get it into a more accountable sort of arena.”

One sticking point in the new licensing program is that it is heavily favored toward those who already own pedicabs. The licenses are limited to businesses with a fleet of no more than 30 cabs, and permit only the registration of existing cabs.

After the Friday deadline, owners may purchase registered cabs from one another, but there will be a cap on the total number of pedicabs. The pedicab businesses themselves can be sold, but only with the department’s permission.

As of Monday afternoon, 100 pedicab operations had applied for the necessary business licenses — which are awarded only if the company has insurance and its vehicles are deemed to be up-to-speed — with a total of 519 pedicabs.

But only 240 people have applied for the pedicab-driver licenses, despite what Mr. Mintz said was a rigorous long-term outreach program to make people aware of the deadline. (It is possible that some have not applied for the driver licenses because the Friday deadline is not as firm for them as it is for owners.)

Mr. Mintz speculated that some drivers were not prepared to meet the rigorous new requirements, because of financial and other reasons. “Our sense is that there are hundreds of operators out there right now who are not willing to make an investment, or not able to make an investment in insurance or retrofitting,” he said. “The process of professionalizing the industry will weed several out.”

One of those who may be weeded out is Nicholas Iacovino, 26, a pedicab driver for the past four years who says he makes $1,500 to $2,000 per week giving tourists rides through Central Park and other parts of the city. He said he had no plans to seek a license. “I think it is going fine the way it is now,” he said. “If I am doing something wrong, write me a ticket. Why do I need a license?”

The newly created pedicab licenses will be issued only to people who already have driver’s licenses. Because Mr. Iacovino, a native of the Lower East Side who has never had a driver’s license, owes $2,338 to the city in unpaid tickets from when he was a bicycle messenger (he says he didn’t believe traffic rules like pausing at red lights should have applied to those on bikes) he has been unable to get a driver’s license because he can’t afford to pay the fines.

“Strictly speaking, you don’t need a driver’s license to ride a bike,” said Mr. Zukowski, the president of the owners’ association, but “as a baseline, it’s a good way to make sure people are on the record, and insure that they know the rules of the road.”

Anecdotal evidence suggests that a large number of pedicab drivers are foreign, largely working illegally in the city, drawn to a job where it’s possible to make a living under the radar by paying just $20 to $50 to rent a rickshaw for the day. “We know that happens,” said Mr. Zukowski, who says he has rented his bikes to people from around the world. He says he pushed initially for drivers to be required to have a driver’s license issued in the United States.

“Immigration status is not a factor in getting either a business or a driver’s license,” said Mr. Mintz. “When we look at whether somebody is fit to get a pedicab license, we don’t ask what their immigration status is.”

Yet, some attribute the low application turnout to fear of discovery by some drivers and rickshaw owners who are working illegally. Mr. Iacovino, the pedicab driver, said that many of his colleagues say, “Why would I put my immigration status at risk just to ride a bike?”

“There’s a lot of guys in my situation,” said Mr. Iacovino. “They just say, ‘Hey you know what? We can’t do anything.’”
Friday, he said, will be his last day as a pedicab driver.

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/11/17/licensing-deadline-looms-for-pedicab-owners/#more-103945

Merry
November 20th, 2009, 10:26 PM
Regulated, Inspected and Licensed

By MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM


New York City’s pedicab business, by most accounts, began on an East Village side street circa 1995, as a close-knit collective of tricyclists squeezed into a garage next door to the Hells Angels. Tap dancers, morticians and striptease artists were among the first drivers.

From these bohemian beginnings came an unlikely pairing: green transportation and unbridled capitalism, a pollution-free way around town that, in good times, earned its proprietors upward of $1,000 a week.

But as the business grew, so did its troubles. Hundreds of new bike operators arrived, pestering tourists and testing the city’s tolerance.

Pedicab owners, alarmed at lax safety standards, began a push for regulation — an effort that stretched for years, encompassing a rare mayoral veto in 2007 and a protracted court battle that ended only last spring.

Now, the upstart enterprise has officially become a profession. Citywide regulation went into effect this weekend. Under the new rules, pedicabs must be insured and inspected for safety. Headlights, seat belts and hydraulic brakes are required. Drivers must be licensed; prices must be clearly displayed. Infractions will result in warnings, suspensions and, for repeat offenses, an outright ban.

“We’re going from something that was born in a dusty downtown garage, completely out of grass-roots activism, into a commercial, regulated activity,” said Peter Meitzler, who ran one of the early fleets. “12:01 Saturday, we’re in a new era.”

Regulation is a milestone for a business that has long yearned for respect, yet some owners and drivers worry that the rules could go too far. Rumors abound that the city will ban pedicabs from Midtown, hurting sales. And drivers fear overzealous police enforcement.

But many longtime pedicab workers recognize that the business has changed, and that they must change with it.

“We grow, we get older, we’re changing. Life is different,” said Igor Krugov, 24, a student who started driving a pedicab in 2005 and now rents out four. Initially attracted to the glamorous side — meeting celebrities, flying down to work the Super Bowl, giving free rides to pretty girls — Mr. Krugov now says the rules will make the business more legitimate.

“Now we are officially a part of the city,” he said the other day, pointing to an official rate card freshly affixed to a bike. (Not all of that do-it-yourself quality has been lost: the prices were printed on computer paper.) The new rules, however, could put a damper on the easygoing mentality that let out-of-work artists and amateur bike nerds get paid to do what they loved.

In the off-season, some drivers spent their earnings on vacations to London, Brazil and Mexico that lasted for months.

In 2000, Ricardo Hernandez, a musician, needed $800 to pay his rent in Bushwick, Brooklyn. He answered an ad in the Village Voice seeking pedicab drivers; in his first week, he made $900. “We were like troubadours,” Mr. Hernandez recalled recently at a pedicab garage on 57th Street. “We all knew each other. You’d go back to the garage and gather and talk about your day.”

“Now there’s a lot of normal people, just average people,” he continued. “Now it’s an average job. It’s lost its charm.” Mr. Hernandez registered for his license this week; he said he hoped that the new rules would make customers and police officers consider pedicabs a safer form of transit. “They’re going to have to respect us,” he said. “We’re not anonymous anymore.”

In June, a pedicab driver and two passengers were injured in a collision with a taxi at the foot of the Williamsburg Bridge in Brooklyn, prompting a renewed effort by the city to regulate. Fleet owners like Cevdet Kiziltan, who owns 30 cabs, said accountability would keep reckless players out of the profession. He said he missed the days when customers were friendlier, and the business looked out for its own.

As of Friday morning, the city had received applications from 303 drivers and 150 businesses, for a total of 844 individual pedicabs.

Officials said they were disappointed that many registrants waited until the last minute. “This industry is taking a journey toward professionalizing itself,” said Jonathan Mintz, the commissioner of consumer affairs. “It’s going to be a long journey.”

George Bliss, 56, started the original garage on East Third Street; at first, he thought pedicabs would be a popular way for clubgoers to migrate crosstown on weekend nights. Nowadays, he is more ambivalent.

“Even some of my most cherished drivers didn’t care whether they had liability insurance or not,” he said disgustedly. “The attitude was, ‘Go ahead and sue me, I don’t have any assets.’ ” But he admitted to some nostalgia.
“Those are the glory days of my life,” he said. “People would just tell me: ‘I love this job. You have given me the best job of my life.’ ”

Plus, there are the health benefits.

“Pulling two Texan tourists, that’s 400 pounds you have in the back, plus the cab is 150 pounds,” Mr. Bliss said. “I had many people take that job to lose weight.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/21/nyregion/21pedicabs.html?ref=nyregion

milleniumcab
November 21st, 2009, 01:50 AM
Dear pedicabby, it is now time to face the music. With regulation comes the consequences for your actions..

Merry
December 29th, 2009, 08:56 PM
A Bitter Holiday for Pedicabs

By J. DAVID GOODMAN

Nuriddin Shamsiev abandoned his usual spot in Central Park on Monday and pedaled his way down Fifth Avenue to search among the throngs spilling into the streets around Rockefeller Center. Despite the sun, it was shaping up to be another tough day — only one customer in four hours — in what has been a season of tough days for the city’s pedicab industry.

Mr. Shamsiev, a 24-year-old Tajik driver, summed up the situation in two words: “Very bad.”

“Last Christmas was much better,” he added. “But the business went down — you don’t make the same money.”

The economic crisis, a series of wet weekends and new regulations requiring licenses for pedicab drivers have created a perfect storm of misery in New York’s pedicab industry, which depends on the holidays to get through the slow winter months. This year, owners and drivers report, the slow season has come early, with potentially dire consequences for some operators.

“I have no drivers left — at all,” said Ari Nichols, owner of Manhattan Pedicabs. He said he had been undercut on rental rates by other operators in a fierce competition for those few licensed drivers. “There’s three bikes for each driver,” he said. Mr. Nichols is trying to sell some of his pedicabs in order to “hang on one more season,” but said it “would have to be a miracle for me” to make it to the summer.

Many owners blamed the licensing requirement, which went into effect before Thanksgiving and requires pedicab operators to obtain both a driver’s license and a special pedicab license. The regulation has put in a crimp in the number of “shotgun” riders who want to start driving right away — perhaps the intent of the regulation — and has also been a problem for many veteran drivers, said Gregg Zukowski, president of New York City Pedicab Owners Association. Some of these veterans had outstanding fines or other issues with their driver’s licenses that had to be taken care of before they could obtain a pedicab license.

A driver searches for customers on Fifth Avenue near Rockefeller Center.

“The impact of the regulation has been brutal,” said Mr. Zukowski, who is also the owner of Revolution Rickshaws and a driver himself. “We always face a dry season in the winter, but this year, we’ve lost the whole holiday season.” Normally his 18 pedicabs would all be rented during the weeks before Christmas and New Year’s. But this month, only two or three have been rented by drivers on a given day.

License plates have been issued for 889 pedicabs and 474 drivers have applied for licenses, according to the Department of Consumer Affairs. The number of licensed businesses with at least one pedicab is 172 and the department is no longer accepting new applications. There is no cap on the number of pedicab driver’s licenses.

Like others, Mr. Zukowski has lowered the rental rates, but to little effect. “The whole industry has been thrown for a curve,” he said, adding that the only way his business can survive is by refocusing on rickshaw van rentals and deliveries.

There are simply not enough licensed drivers, he said, adding, “The only people who are doing okay are the solo-owner-operators.”

But tell that to Mark Stringer, 44, a seven-year veteran driver whose pedicab is his only source of income. “Normally Christmas builds, gets busier and busier and busier,” he said. But this year it’s been less reliable.

“Me and me buddy, we go out, and one day, I’d be O.K., and he’d have $32. Another day, he’d be fine and I’d have like $27,” Mr. Stringer said. “It was almost like there’s not enough money for everybody out there.”

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/29/a-bitter-holiday-for-pedicabs/#more-116169

Alonzo-ny
January 2nd, 2010, 04:32 PM
Boo hoo. Those bikes are plague.

Ninjahedge
January 2nd, 2010, 11:37 PM
I thought the same. I just did not feel any pity for that industry. It was not a big draw, and the only ones that seem to be hurt by it would be the ones that tried their hardest to exploit an unregulated system.

Lo and behold, regulation, cold weather AND a recession hits them. Join the club guys.

NYCcouple
August 29th, 2010, 03:29 AM
Maybe i will run my own pedi-cab just to spite those dangerous formula 1 inspired hacks. ;)

Make a little salt.

-A

Merry
February 18th, 2011, 06:51 AM
Pedicab Industry Wants New Rules to Crack Down on 'Cowboy' Drivers

The pedicab industry supports the proposed legislation, but owners want even more rules to crack down on drivers.

By Amy Zimmer

http://s3.amazonaws.com/sfb111/story_xlimage_2011_02_R1541_Pedicab_Industry_Wants _More_Regulation.jpg

slide show (http://www.dnainfo.com/20110217/manhattan/pedicab-industry-wants-new-rules-crack-down-on-cowboy-drivers/slideshow/popup/61202)

MIDTOWN — A group representing pedicab owners is not only embracing proposed legislation regulating the industry, but is also asking for further rules to weed out the bad seeds on the road.

Bike rickshaws would have to follow the same parking rules of cars, would have to display a passengers bill of rights and face tougher penalties — a yearlong operator's license suspension — for repeated violations, under legislation introduced by City Councilman Dan Garodnick, who represents the East Side.

"We wanted to show Dan Garodnick an unambiguous show of support," said Chad Marlow, of the New York City Pedicab Owners Association, which plans to speak in favor of the rules at Friday's City Council hearing on the industry overhaul.

"We think he's genuinely concerned about our industry and that gives us confidence in these rules," Marlow said.

The new rules are sure to ruffle some feathers, especially from pedicab drivers who would no longer be able to wait in no standing zones in front of theaters. Marlow hopes the city will end up creating even more rules at some point to deal with these issues by creating designated pedicab pickup spots.

He also hopes to see rules that can weed out the "group of drivers out there who are small but not insignificant" who come during the summer "from Mexico, Florida, Timbuktu or wherever" and rack up fines with little regard before leaving New York.

"They come from out of New York or the U.S. and get a stack of tickets. They don't care," said Klye Elauannas, of Fox International Pedicab. "For people living overseas, they just get their license translated and go to [the Department of Consumer Affairs]. It would be different if they had a driver's license from the Tri-State area."

They have a "cowboy attitude," said pedicab operator John McIntosh, 59, of these drivers he said often came from Turkey and Central Asia. He thought a bill of rights would be helpful in preventing them from "taking advantage of customers."

McIntosh didn't mind paying $2 to park in a spot like a car, but he would rather see designated spaces on corners for pedicabs where potential riders can easily spot them. "You have to be on a corner," he said.

Pedicab driver Ismael Oz, 40, hoped the new parking rules would clarify for law enforcement where they're allowed to be. He said he has gotten slapped with 35 tickets worth over $1,200 last year and many were unjustified.

Ron Paterson, who runs NYC Go Green Tours of pedicabs in Central Park, wanted to see legislation go further and require pedicab drivers who give tours be licensed guides. "We see people not giving legit tours. It's just some guy who's been here a couple of months."
Garodnick's office has received several complaints, including one from a tourist who had an eight-minute pedicab ride that cost $90.

"These are rules which are designed to promote more safety and to ensure that pedicab riders are not getting taken for a ride," Garodnick said. "It also clarifies some rules, creates some new ones and toughens the penalties for people repeatedly putting riders and pedestrians at risk."

http://www.dnainfo.com/20110217/manhattan/pedicab-industry-wants-new-rules-crack-down-on-cowboy-drivers#ixzz1EJIkA0Er