ESSENTIAL CHANGES REQUIRED OF PEDICAB OPERATORS BEGINNING JULY 12, 2013. See this latest Dept. of Consumers Affairs link for up to the minute information on the pedicab per minute pricing law and required signage. [click on the text below to be taken to DCA's page of links to the new law, and their signage templates...]
Below is a summary of the new pricing regulation's key points. Note: it is lengthy. Also, visit our "INFO" page to see sample NYCPOA-designed rate cards that print on 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper (landscape mode). -- a sign conspicuously posted on both sides of the exterior of the pedicab indicating in letters and numbers at least TWO INCHES high the dollar amount to be charged per minute per ride, and then, below that, in letters and numbers at least one half of an inch high the following text: "no additional fees may be charged" and "drivers must give passengers a pedicab information card." More about this new information card, which is perhaps better referred to as a trip information card, below. -- The DCA has designed a NEW template in PDF form for the exterior rate signs requiring legal size paper.
-- a sign affixed to the rear of the bicycle seat of the pedicab indicating in letters and numbers at least TWO INCHES high the dollar amount to be charged per minute per ride. Basically you must repeat the first line of the new rate card you are posting on the side of the pedicab. We recommend you laminate it and hang it from the seat rails underneath your (i.e., your driver's) seat.-- Rates for pedicab rides shall be based on time calculated per minute per ride. Each pedicab driver will make such calculation using the timer affixed to the pedicab pursuant to paragraph 12 of subdivision a of section 20-254 of this subchapter. The timer must be in full view of the passengers. -- Each pedicab driver shall activate the timer when all passengers are seated and the pedicab ride commences, and shall stop the timer when the pedicab has reached its destination and the pedicab is at a full stop. Don't have a stopwatch? In NYC, lots of sporting goods stores sell them, and also plenty are found online. Then you must have this stopwatch verified by the DCA's measurements office. It's $10.00 per device, and a sticker will be affixed to the back of the stopwatch affirming it has been verified by DCA. You must make an appointment with DCA to have your timer inspected. More new pricing details..... 1. It shall be unlawful for a pedicab driver to charge any added fee, including fees for additional passengers. Okay? No per passenger pricing. One price for all on board (3 passenger limit of course). 2. Each minute shall be charged at the same rate. 3. Rates, as we state above, shall be displayed on the exterior of the pedicab (both sides) and the rear of the bike [i.e., driver's] seat on the pedicab pursuant to paragraphs 14 and 15 of subdivision a of section 20-254 of this subchapter at all times. More about that trip information card.... -- A. The department [i.e., the DCA] shall create a pedicab information card in a size and style to be determined by the commissioner that states in substance: (i) all pedicabs shall display a sign disclosing the price to be charged per minute per ride on the exterior of the pedicab and the rear of the bike seat of the pedicab; (ii) drivers are not permitted to charge tax; (iii) gratuity is not required; (iv) it shall be unlawful for a pedicab driver to charge any added fee, including fees for additional passengers; (v) passengers may call 311 if they have a complaint regarding a pedicab driver or business; and (vi) such additional information as required by the commissioner. Each such document shall include an area where each pedicab driver shall write or type: (i) his or her name and pedicab driver’s license number, which shall be clearly identified as a New York city department of consumer affairs license number; (ii) the pedicab business name, address, telephone number and pedicab business license number, which shall be clearly identified as a New York city department of consumer affairs license number; (iii) the rate per ride as indicated on the exterior of the pedicab and the rear of the bike seat of the pedicab pursuant to paragraphs 14 and 15 of subdivision a of section 20-254 of this subchapter; (iv) the date; (v) the total number of minutes and/or fraction of a minute of the pedicab ride; and (vi) the total charge of the pedicab ride. -- B. Such pedicab information card shall be distributed to every pedicab driver licensed pursuant to section 20-257 of this subchapter by the department in a manner to be determined by the commissioner. -- C. Before a passenger enters a pedicab, the driver shall provide such passenger with the information card required by paragraph one of this subdivision with the following information inserted by the driver: (i) the driver's name and pedicab driver's license number; (ii) the pedicab business name, address, telephone number and pedicab business license number; and (iii) the rate per ride as indicated on the exterior of the pedicab and the rear of the bike seat of the pedicab pursuant to paragraphs 14 and 15 of subdivision a of section 20-254 of this subchapter. At the conclusion of the pedicab ride, the driver shall enter the following information on the information card: (i) the date; (ii) the total number of minutes and/or fraction of a minute of the pedicab ride; and (iii) the total charge of the pedicab ride. The driver shall then return the information card to the passenger. Essentially, this trip info card will function like a very large receipt, containing the much needed information about the driver and the owner, if the two are different. There is a little bit of stagecraft necessary to present the trip information card gracefully to the new passengers, to ask for it back at the conclusion of the trip, and then finally to return it, completed, to the passengers as they are finalizing payment, hopefully with smiles all around. And we ask for the public's understanding as the hundreds of licensed drivers learn to work with this new city council requirement -- that will be enforced by DCA -- as creatively and professionally as they can. We encourage passengers to make sure they have the necessary information about their driver in the event there is a misunderstanding about pricing or the pricing mechanism applied does not follow these new regulations. Passengers should be focusing on the driver information because it is the driver who, at the end of the day, is the individual making the decisions about the price of the ride, not so much the pedicab owner. Indeed, there is no way to know whether once leaving a garage if a pedicab driver has altered the prices posted in the case of a pedicab rented from a fleet; however, if such "personalized" prices conform to the DCA standards, then they would be legally posted. Also, it is quite likely that the driver may own her or his pedicab, in which case the driver in front of you is both driver and owner (and hopefully the two agree on the fares to be posted!). Let's hope for a 2013 season with satisfied pedicab passengers. Please write to us at info[at]nycpoa.org with your comments.