$442 Pedicab Ride Not Good For Business, Or Tourists

What do you get when a Texas family is charged $442 for a 14 block pedicab ride? A drop in business, skeptical tourists, and a group of city officials working to simplify pricing.

The Star reports that New York is still feeling the effects of an outrageously priced pedicab ride from earlier this year. City officials are hoping to simplify the pricing structure for pedicabs so tourists don’t get overcharged. The change could result in lower fares for drivers but it may also result in more business.

Pedicab driver Souleymane Toure said that his prices are constantly questioned due to the $442 pedicab ride.

Toure said:

“It was not good for us …. Because any time you stop somebody for the ride they say, ‘Are you going to charge us $400?’”

According to Web Pro News, the only pricing regulation that pedicab operators have is that they have to put the prices on the side of their vehicle. They can charge whatever they like but it has to posted on the cab. Some pedicab drivers have confusing payment plans that involve an initial charge to get in the cab, extra charges for additional passengers, different prices for short and long blocks, and special prices for certain areas of the city.

A proposal was placed before City Council that suggests that pedicab drivers should start charging by the minute. Councilman Dan Garodnick said that the goal is to make sure that customers are not surprised by the price of the ride at the end.

Garodnick said: “They would set it, they would post it and that’s the story. What we don’t want are surprises at the end.”

But is a per-minute plan the best way to charge for a pedicab ride? Greg Zuman, the vice-president of the New York City Pedicab Owners Association, doesn’t like the per-minute plan. Instead, Zuman says that pedicab drivers should state the price upfront.

Zuman said: “The prices aren’t quoted up front right now, and that’s a huge problem.”

Have you ever taken a pedicab ride in New York? Do you think you were overcharged?