N.Y. Supreme Court Ruling Spells Victory for Pedicabs


By Special to the Sun
January 17, 2008

The New York Supreme Court delivered a victory yesterday to the pedicab industry, whose fleet of about 600 bicycle taxis has been the subject of new regulations by the city. The regulations, voted into law by the City Council last April, placed a registration cap on the industry, allowing only 325 pedicabs to operate in the city at one time.

Several provisions of the law, enforced by the Department of Consumer Affairs, were struck down yesterday, according to a lobbyist for the pedicab industry, Chad Marlow. The court invalidated a qualification that would have allowed license applicants not yet active in the industry to compete equally with current pedicab owners, as well as a rule that one owner could apply for up to 30 licenses.

"The City Council law put the pedicab industry on life support and the Department of Consumer Affairs pulled the plug," Mr. Marlow said.

"Yesterday, the Supreme Court threw the New York pedicab industry a lifeline."

The cap on licenses remains in writing, but the city will not be able to enforce it until new qualifications are issued, Mr. Marlow said.