National Park Service One Step Ahead of New York City Council in Regulating Pedicab Fares

NYC Pedicabs

The action at the October 18th Consumer Affairs Committee hearing on pedicab fares led RR to believe that legislation requiring New York City pedicab drivers to issue up-front fare quotes might be on the table after all. This week, while doing research for RR’s January 2013 excursion to Washington, D.C. for ObamaRomanation, RR stumbled upon the National Park Service’s strategy for preventing price-gouging by pedicab drivers operating in the National Mall. Below is a photograph of the sign the NPS requires pedicab drivers to post “in front of the passenger’s seat,” in a spot where it is “clearly visible to the passengers.”

Sign that the National Park Service requires to be posted in view of pedicab passengers taking rides in the National Mall

What a passenger is supposed to see when taking a pedicab ride in the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Here is the precise wording of the NPS’s rule on pedicab rates:

“Rates for pedicabs – All fares must be negotiated with the visitor prior to departing with the visitor. Signs displaying the following statement in 48pt font must be posted in front of the passenger’s seat and be clearly visible to the passengers…. ‘The driver of this pedicab is required to negotiate all fares prior to departing on your trip.'”

One issue that came up at the hearing was where to place a sign such as this one on the various makes of pedicab. On a Main Street, this sign could be affixed to the slanted triangular panel between the passenger seat and the driver’s seat, or it could hang from the driver’s seat. On a Cycles Maximus, the sign could go on the inside of the passenger-view panel, as shown above. (This same panel would hide any sign attached to the driver’s seat of a Maximus.)

The push for up-front fare quoting is not over. RR urges the New York City Council to take note of the National Park Service’s sensible example.