NEW YORK—The City Council passed legislation on Thursday that would cap the number of pedicabs operating in the city at 850, which is the current number of pedicabs.
“We are at our saturation point with pedicabs, and this would not be the appropriate time to open the door for new licenses,” said Councilman Dan Garodnick.
The legislation still needs to be signed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The legislation is also aimed at adding regulation to pedicab drivers’ operations, including equipping them with a registration plate and adding work breaks. This involves enabling the NYPD and Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) to enforce these ordinances.
The bill will require pedicabs to adhere to the same parking rules as cars, including no-standing, no-stopping, and no-parking zones, as well as not parking near a fire hydrant or in a crosswalk. The third bill will change the administrative ordinance of New York City, capping the number of allowed registered pedicabs at 850.
The stricter codes include a pedicab having its registration plate suspended for no less than one year after three equipment violations, effectively forcing the pedicab driver in that situation to find a new job or continue operating illegally.
Steadily rising in number and popularity, pedicabs are oversized tricycles with a small couch-like seat between the back two wheels where the back wheel would be on a normal bicycle. Ahead of the seat is the pedaling driver. Pedicabs have become a green alternative to taxis, and are often a fun way for tourists to see the city.