The NYPD shut the main conduit for pedicabs to the NYC Marathon finish line today at around 3:45pm due to excessive crowding of pedicabs and related congestion. I was told the area would open back up to pedicabs around 5pm by the officer stationed at Columbus Circle near Broadway and 60th Street. After scooting all the way over to 10th Ave by way of 57th Street with a bunch of Bozostanians for one last dive into the finish line area, I stayed away for the remainder of my riding hours. Business certainly was solid, and I managed to make my number away from Central Park West for the rest of the day; however, it’s a sad NYC marathon day when pedicabs are barred from the area in which we’re needed most.
Prior to the pedicab blockade on Broadway, I was sidling into Central Park West, scoring rides from tuckered out runners who gladly settled into my carriage to get to this and that midtown hotel. One of them asked me prior to boarding how much a ride would be to the Hilton (53rd & 6Av). I told him $22 (we were at 62nd & Central Park West), and he got in. I asked if he’d been solicited by other pedicab riders, and he mentioned that they’d all demanded $50 for the privilege. (I heard subsequently that some riders were demanding at least $40 per person to go anywhere.)
What’s in some ways the ultimate day for pedicabbing here in NYC turned into a farce for us local practitioners once again, as Bozostanians stampeded the limited spots for possibly picking up fares on Broadway to the point where the cops felt compelled to shut us ALL out of the area.
Luckily, the fundamentals of the pedicab practice for individual practitioners remain sound – and the experience for passengers as thrilling as ever. As we locals work diligently toward raising the bar for our local industry via requirement of a quad-state motor vehicle driver’s license akin to TLC requirements, it’s good to know that hard-working individuals can still make a solid living in town via pedicab riding – painting the town green as they do so.