NYC: Pedicab Drivers Rally Against Bill That Could Cost Them Their Jobs


February 13, 2007

Some city Pedicab drivers rallied against a measure that they say could put them out of a job.

There are around 500 of the bicycle-style cabs around the city. But drivers say two-thirds of them could wind up out of business if the City Council passes new regulations requiring drivers to be licensed and insured. Certain kinds of cabs would be banned altogether.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said there must be a limit on the number of Pedicabs for safety reasons, but drivers and environmental activists disagree.

"There are way more limousines then there are Pedicabs, but there isn't a cap,” said Pedicab driver Mega Martinez. “They encourage you to go out and buy a limo, make that your business. I'm trying to make a business for myself that is good for the environment, good for people, people enjoy riding on our cabs. I love my job. If they put a cap, many of us are going to loose our jobs.”

"They are great from of non polluting transportation,” said Bill DiPaola of Times Up New York. “The tourists love them. Then people who use them, it brings a smile to their face and it really improves the city."

The proposed legislation would also make the cabs follow traffic rules and standardize fares.

Council Member Leroy Comrie, who sponsored the bill, says he's willing to work with drivers to find a compromise.