You’ve just been taken for a ride… in more ways than one by a pedicab operator in Manhattan. You’re angry. You feel helpless. You feel assaulted. You feel robbed.
Well, those feelings are all legitimate and true. The operator just illegally extorted cash from you.
Unfortunately, the City of New York maintains conditions in which scofflaw operators effectively are free to extort. The Department of Consumer Affairs is either unwilling or unable to protect consumers in these situations; to wit, since the establishment of a regulatory framework in 2009 it has does nothing to provide for a consumer protection interface within the cab itself for passengers to access – unlike, say, the Taxi and Limousine Commission, which requires a raft of user interface standards within the cab be maintained for passengers to access and enforces regularly maintenance of these standards via a squadron of enforcement agents. The responsibility for this mess, however, ultimately falls on City Council, the mayor, and the City Charter (not to mention the industry itself) – but that’s another story for another day.
Here’s a link to the DCA complaint page: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/dca/consumers/file-complaint.page
Unfortunately, it can be challenging to submit a complete form due to the aforementioned shortcomings in consumer protection tools in the cab itself, e.g. the lack of standards for the placement of the operator license within the cab (get in a toxic taxi and you see the license in the window between driver and passenger), the lack of an actual license plate on the cab (!), and the lack of a card placed effectively in the cab that provides a simple way to contact the proper agency to report incidents.
The New York City Pedicab Owners’ Association nycpoa.org was created in part to support victims of these scofflaws find justice. You’re encouraged to write to the association to support its efforts to track incidents.
Revolution is willing to review cases, as well – and support efforts to find justice when possible.
Final word? Buyer beware. Pedicab rides intrinsically are wonderful! Just ensure that you and the operator have agreed to a clear understanding of the rate prior to activation.