After many months of discussion, the City Council passed a bill to regulate the pedicab industry. Pedicab advocates, who agree that the industry should be regulated, are upset about the City Council's battery of regulations, such as a cap of 325 pedicabs and being banned from Midtown during the holidays. Additionally, $2 million insurance plans will be required, which is similar to what taxi cabs have, and pedicabs with electric motors would be banned. Read the list of regulations at On NY Turf.
A former pedicab owner, George Bliss, told the Daily News, "We don't understand why our vehicles, which produce zero pollution, are being singled out for these extreme police tactics." Transportation Alternatives called the City Council's regulations "anti-environment, anti-small business and completely inconsistent with the mayor's long-term sustainability initiative." And NY1 got a great snark from someone: "[The City Council] should regulate joggers too. After all, anybody who gets exercise should be regulated. It doesn’t make any sense for them to be driving around with their feet."
Even some other City Council members thought the regulations went too far, but City Councilman Leroy Comrie dismissed the questions, saying,When you craft an agreement where everyone is a little unhappy, then you know you've done a good job." amNew York reports that Mayor Bloomberg is expected to sign the bill. Pedicab licenses will be distributed by lottery.
Photograph of a pedicab driver in Midtown yesterday by Kathy Willens/AP