Saturday, April 7, 2007

Taken for a ride


Speaker Christine C. Quinn, said, “Anyone who has been to Columbus Circle or Times Square in recent years has seen the hundreds of pedicabs that circle around the streets. While most drivers are responsible, we need to establish clear rider guidelines and passenger rights, and make sure pedicabs don’t clog our streets or endanger pedestrians.”

What she meant to say: "We're all good friends with Taxi and Limousine Commissioner Harry Giannoulis, who also happens to be a lobbyist for the Parkside Group, which in turn represents cab drivers. We therefore understand the need to make life impossible for pedicab owners and drivers. Since we are beholden to special interest groups with deep pockets rather than our constituents, we decided to pass this legislation. Pedicabs don't pollute, like cabs do, and provide employment for many people, but hey, we're all term limited, are seeking higher office and money talks."

History of the battle from Wired New York:

Pedicabs

Photo from NY Times

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's clear that TLC Commish,"conflict-of-interest Giannoulis" would support fume spewing... gas guzzling...oil interests over clean altrnatives. A foot on the gas pedal gives more power to his friends!

I'd like to put my foot up his ass....where it belongs!

Hello out there, Evan Stavisky.....how's Parkside doing?

georgetheatheist said...

And don't forget that martini-swilling, ex-Manton factotum, that vile sneaky little rodent, Bill Driscoll!
(Thought we'd forget about you, Billie-boy?)

mazeartist said...

These pedicabs are the poster images of working-class New York. The boardwalks of Coney Island and the Rockaways also once had them. They cost less than taxis, use zero emissions, and do not tie up traffic. I hope that the pedicabs stage a mass protest (similar to the Critical Mass bikers) outside Christine Quinn's house!

Anonymous said...

Interesting how you have no problem taking potshots at fat-cats and yuppies, but you'll crap all over the little guy when he's a cabbie.

These pedicabs impede traffic in the worst way and in most cases involve a "driver" who hasn't had any kind of criminal or background check, nor a minimum requirement for insurance.

Here's a good idea - let's put passengers and the tourists responsible for driving this city's economy at risk, so that you can champion 'the little guy'.

Meanwhile - the cabbies that work hard to keep this city moving? You lump them under a couple of politicians who don't maintain the same agenda as you. Forget the fact that these guys do undergo the rigorous background check and training that the pedicab drivers are exempt from. Forget the fact that most cab medallion owners are drivers themselves, and the essence of NYC small business.

Somewhere, someone who holds a city office peed in your Cheerios and you've got it out for the cab drivers. As someone who was born, raised and still lives in Queens, I can tell there are a lot of tourists posting here if they don't acknowledge the hard working cab drivers and the rest of the cab industry that have done so much for our borough. This blog is very appropriately named.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused...where exactly did the Crapper crap on cab drivers?

Julie said...

"I can tell there are a lot of tourists posting here if they don't acknowledge the hard working cab drivers and the rest of the cab industry that have done so much for our borough."

Yes, cab drivers have done a lot for Queens. Like telling us that they aren't driving over the bridge. They resist coming into the borough and that forces people here to use gypsy cabs and dollar vans that operate illegally.

Question for previous poster:

Aren't pedicab drivers also "little guys?" How would you like it if you were told you could no longer make a living doing what you do?

Anonymous said...

Tell 'em, Julie! Many a time I have been thrown out of a cab for saying I wanted to go to Astoria. Yes you can call and complain, but when you are trying to get home at 1am, reporting them is not your first priority. This is also the same lobby that doesn't want to have to pick the people of Queens up at yellow cab stands within the borough.

Anonymous said...

Yes, cab drivers have done a lot for Queens. Like telling us that they aren't driving over the bridge. They resist coming into the borough and that forces people here to use gypsy cabs and dollar vans that operate illegally.

Actually, a quick glance over at Jackson Avenue or half of Long Island City will tell you immediately what the medallion cab industry does for the borough of Queens.

Aren't pedicab drivers also "little guys?" How would you like it if you were told you could no longer make a living doing what you do?

Doing what you do? How long have these pedicabs been 'doing what they do'? They're infringing upon business that the medallion and limousine cab industry has served for over a century in the past few years, without any real licensing or regulation. But yeah, they're being kept from making a living because they're expected to follow the same regulatory path that the others are.

Born, raised and still living in Queens, and I haven't been turned down by any cabs to get home from Manhattan or to get into the city. Considering both of NYC's major airports are in Queens, I have to wonder why the cab drivers you claim disregarded you did so. Of course, with a yellow cab, you could file a complaint with the Taxi and Limosine Commission and a very hefty fine would be lobbed right at the cab owner and driver, respectively.

I'm sure that complaint will subside once there are more pedicabs on the road to get you to Queens from Manhattan.

Anonymous said...

"a quick glance over at Jackson Avenue or half of Long Island City will tell you immediately what the medallion cab industry does for the borough of Queens."

Sorry, I don't get your point. Are you saying that taxis can be found there? Because in 95% of the borough, they can't be. Lots of resistance to the idea of local cab stands...hmmm...why is that?

"How long have these pedicabs been 'doing what they do'? They're infringing upon business that the medallion and limousine cab industry has served for over a century in the past few years, without any real licensing or regulation."

New York first regulated taxi fares in 1913, fixing the cost of a ride at 50 cents a mile.

"...they're being kept from making a living because they're expected to follow the same regulatory path that the others are."

No, there are limits being placed on how many pedicabs will be allowed. 325 sounds awfully low.

"Born, raised and still living in Queens, and I haven't been turned down by any cabs to get home from Manhattan or to get into the city. Considering both of NYC's major airports are in Queens, I have to wonder why the cab drivers you claim disregarded you did so."

Born, raised and still living in Queens, the minute I say "Rego Park" to a yellow cab driver in Manhattan (once after having lugged a very heavy wedding dress into the back of the cab), I hear, "sorry, I'm off duty." My friend who was also born, raised and still lives in Howard Beach has gotten refused at JFK because the fare would be too low.

georgetheatheist said...

Tell the cabbie this (let's say you are in mid-town and you want to go to Sunnyside or Woodside):..."I want to go to LaGuardia but I have to pick up my luggage, my grandmother, etc."(Be creative with your excuse.) Have him go via the Queensboro Bridge, have the cabbie drop you off at or near where you live, pay the fare on the meter at that point, be sure to give a nice tip(!) and then give him some kind of excuse to end the trip right there.