ESSENTIAL CHANGES REQUIRED OF PEDICAB OPERATORS BEGINNING ON OR ABOUT APRIL 12, 2013, NOW POSTPONED BY DCA
WE DON'T KNOW IF NYPD WILL ACKNOWLEDGE THAT DCA WILL NOT ENFORCE THESE NEW REQUIREMENTS UNTIL OR ABOUT JUNE 28, 2013. THEREFORE, WE RECOMMEND YOU PRINT OUT AND CARRY WITH YOU WHILE OPERATING A PEDICAB THE FOLLOWING DCA NOTICE MAILED TO PEDICAB BUSINESSES AND DRIVERS.
DCA announces public hearing on pricing/timer regulation: -- Notice of Public Hearing and Opportunity to Comment on Proposed Amendments to Pedicab Rules regarding signage and timing devices for pedicabs. Date/Time: May 28, 2013 at 10:00 A.M. Location: Department of Consumer Affairs, 66 John Street, 11th floor Hearing Room, New York, NY 10038 (click here for PDF / text...scroll down to start of DCA text) (PDF)
DCA notice mailed to pedicab businesses and drivers about enforcement delay (click here to open) (PDF)
If you have been paying attention, you know for nearly two years discussion has taken place, hearings held, agencies consulted, over various ways to improve the pedicab passenger experience with regard to pricing. Our INFO page contains more of the background links to the legislation, press releases, and other material. The law takes effect around April 12, 2013. DCA chose to enforce the law starting June 28. Please consult the DCA link listed here for further information.
Review this new webpage that DCA just uploaded this week, with sample signage templates and enforcement details:
Below is a summary of the new pricing regulation's key points:
-- 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 template in PDF form for the exterior rate signs, but PLEASE NOTE: our analysis of this template is that if you print this template as is, the first portion of lettering on the side is not two inches high. It is only 1.5 inches high. So, you will need to enlarge the document when printing so that the numbers are two inches high, as required by law. The smaller text also is printing out less than half an inch. So, adjust accordingly if you use this template, which is available on DCA's website and also in the clickable item below.
DCA-designed exterior rate signage template (click here to open) (PDF)
-- 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. We think you can walk in at DCA and have your timer verified on the spot. If your pedicab does not yet have an approved stopwatch, now is a good time to take care of this before DCA's offices are filled with hundreds of owners needing their new timers verified. It may also be possible to have DCA approve a stopwatch or timer APP running on your smartphone or tablet. (We are looking into this.) If you find an answer out on this, please let us know. Keep in mind, if you use your smartphone or tablet computer as a stopwatch, it must be on view at all times to the passengers.
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 link below will open up a PDF form of a trip information card where you can fill in the necessary information prior to printing. This document was designed by DCA and is available on their website. It is up to each pedicab owner and driver to fill in the requested information.
DCA-designed pedicab trip info document template (click here to open) (PDF)
-- 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!).
Keep in mind, also, legally, any renting or owning pedicab driver is ultimately an independent contractor, not an employee of a pedicab company, and really should by law be setting her or his rates.
Let's hope for a 2013 season with satisfied pedicab passengers. Please write to us at info[at]nycpoa.org with your comments.
STAY TUNED for futher updates on the trip information card!!