On Monday the City Council will debate new regulations that would require pedicab operators who charge a flat rate to disclose, in writing, how much they intend to charge for their service. One of the bill's main sponsors, Councilman Dan Garodnick (D-Manhattan), says the legislation is motivated in part by horror stories of tourists getting Shanghaied by pedicab drivers who take them for a ride in more ways than one.
"What prompted it was a terrible story of a tourist family from Baton Rouge that got charged to go from Strawberry Fields [in Central Park at West 72nd Street] to 59th and Sixth—$90," Garodnick tells the Post. "In-sane! It's so close!" A yellow cab would cost around $8 for a similar trip, but in a taxi you just don't get the same satisfaction of watching a human being physically exert themselves because you're too lazy to walk to the ESPN Zone.
Legislation passed in 2007 forced pedicabs to display their rates if they charge by per block or by the minute. (Some charge $1 a minute.) But pedicabs that charge a flat rate are exempt, and don't need to disclose their fee up front. Garodnick's bill would require all pedicab drivers to give customers a receipt with the price, license number, their names, and a license and phone number for the business they work for. Those who charge by the mile or minute would also have to display a timer or odometer. At press time, it was unclear how the new rules would effect Spider-Man pedicab parkour operators.