Listen to the podcast or
go to Bikescape in itunes
An old form of public transport, the pedicab has made inroads in some US cities but in Midtown Manhattan over the last ten years the industry has exploded in popularity. The unimpeded views, immunity to gridlock and the sheer fun of riding a human powered vehicle have made pedicabs a true alternative to taxis, busses and the subway for locals and tourists alike.
But with popularity comes growing pains as the business reaches a crossroad. Lack of regulation has encouraged unscrupulous, uninsured drivers to enter the field and has caused complaints leading the City Council to pass broad regulations that would cap the number of pedicabs in New York at 350 and outlaw electric assist motors. There are now upwards of five hundred trikes out on the streets so many hard working entrepreneurs would lose their livelyhoods.
And for obvious reasons, the taxi industry has lent its weight to the fight while the other side responds.
As we go to air Mayor Bloomberg has vetoed the bill and we await an override or new legislation from the City Council. Write to your council member today!
Bikescape catches up with Bicytaxi mechanic Kate Freitag in her Fifth Avenue garage to talk about the state of New York's Pedicab Industry.