New York Department probes $165 pedicab illegal charge

New York Pedicab

New York Pedicabs Image by Rev Stan / CC BY 2.0

New York’s Department of Consumers Affairs is investigating an incident where a man visiting the city with his family was charged $165 by a rickshaw rider on New Year’s eve to transport him for about 15 blocks in Midtown.

The New York Post reports that the pedicab driver hit the man, his wife and daughter with an invoice for $165, illegally charging on a passenger basis and using his feet to cover his sign on which the prices were printed in small type.

“We could have taken a 15-minute trip in a helicopter,” complained Ken Smith (41) a Red Cross worker in Haiti. “It’s a shame. It happened to me in New York, of all places.” Still, Smith said they hope to return to the city soon.

Drivers are required to prominently display their rates and their company information. They are banned from per-passenger fees. Due to the lack of standardization in rickshaw practice, exorbitant fees can be tacked onto tourist bills with little to no warning.

Another couple was charged $442.54 for a 12-minute ride through Midtown. The New York Post states that the pedicab’s per-block rate is standard, but a minuscule addendum at the bottom of the rate card tacked on a “$100-per-person” fee.

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