Pedicabs – Doomed

7/27/2009 Update:

Updating this post from 2007 – one Hoboken411 reader was wondering what the status was with the Pedicabs in town – thinking there was a 6 month moratorium, and whether they’re eventually coming to town.

Pedicabs are banned

I inquired with Hoboken Corporation Counsel Steve Kleinman – and he doled out the bad news (which was unbeknownst to me for some odd reason – since this was done a while ago), that it’s officially written in city code that the Pedicabs are not welcome in Hoboken. He sent me the amended city code. Consider yourself informed!


§ 179A-38. Pedicabs, Prohibited.
A. Findings.
The governing body of the City of Hoboken finds and declares that the use of pedicabs on the streets and sidewalks of the City will significantly increase existing pedestrian and vehicular congestion, and create safety issues for vehicles, pedestrians, and operators and passengers of pedicabs and similar forms of transportation. Therefore, for the health, safety, and welfare of the general public, the governing body of the City of Hoboken finds that it is necessary to prohibit the operation of pedicabs within the corporate limits of the City.

B. “Pedicab” Defined.
“Pedicab” means: (1) A bicycle that has three or more wheels, that transports, or is capable of transporting, passengers on seats attached to the bicycle, that is operated by one or more persons, whether human propelled or motor assisted, and that is used for transporting passengers or property; or (2) A bicycle that pulls or pushes a trailer, sidecar, or similar device, that transports, or is capable of transporting passengers on seats attached to the trailer, sidecar, or similar device, that is operated by one or more persons whether human propelled or motor assisted and that is used for transporting one or more passengers or property.

“Pedicab business” means a commercial enterprise, that employs or contracts with one or more operator(s), which engages in providing transportation via pedicab, for any form of compensation including gratuities and/or donations, on either public or private property, or both.

C. Prohibition on Pedicabs.
It is unlawful for any person to operate a pedicab business within the corporate limits of the City of Hoboken.

D. Penalties.
In the event that anyone violates the provisions of this section, both the operator and owner of the pedicab shall be liable, and the Hoboken Municipal Court shall retain jurisdiction to adjudicate all violations with the penalty to be a fine of no less than one hundred dollars ($100.00) for the first offense, two hundred dollars ($200.00) for the second offense and every offense thereafter.

See previous updates after the jump…

4/14/2007 Update:

Some rumors going around that these Pedicabs were going to be spotted today, and a Roving Hoboken411 Reporter went out looking for them:

Online Videos by

What are your thoughts about this? Here are some of mine:

  • “great, good for the environment & more transportation choices”
  • “holy crap, imagine the traffic jams as these pedicabs (going 8mph) try to navigate around double parkers all around town, causing slower traffic all behind them”
  • “Hmmm, maybe less car and pedestrian accidents if everyone is going slower”
  • “I can get there faster if I walk. Plus it’s exercise.”
  • “How soon before there is a casualty?”

They have them in NYC, but I’ve only seen tourists use them. Would anyone be caught dead in one of these?

Pedicabs prep to roll

pedicab-hoboken.jpgHoboken’s first pedicab entrepreneurs are mobilizing their fleet to be operational later this month.

Pedi Trans, LLC, is the brainchild of Chris Costello of North Bergen and his cousin, Tony Vlachos, a Jersey City cop. They’re seeking to eventually operate in Jersey City, Belmar, Atlantic City, Ocean Grove and Asbury Park, but Hoboken is their “bread and butter,” Costello says.

They’re shooting for an April 21 start date and are currently seeking operators.

The cousins plan to start with 10 vehicles or fewer, and Costello contests the notion that pedicabs threaten the livelihood of taxi drivers. He thinks his fleet will be utilized mostly by people wishing to go short distances – as well as for special events like weddings and sightseeing.

Operators will pay a fee to drive the vehicles, and the cash they take in from passengers is theirs to keep. In this initial roll-out phase, there’s no fixed price for people hailing a pedicab on the street; they are expected to graciously tip their driver. Those who call the dispatcher requesting a pick-up will pay a rate that has yet to be determined.

It doesn’t require exceptional brawn to drive a pedicab, Costello says. He the average woman could do it. Only a driver’s license, a record free of DUIs and participation in a one-day course are needed.

According to Hoboken Councilwoman Theresa LaBruno, pedicab owners don’t currently need a special license to operate in the city.

“I’m very confident that the pedicab business in Hoboken isn’t going to cause chaos or confusion,” she added.

The parking and transportation subcommittee LaBruno chairs will discuss pedicabs at its meeting today at 5 p.m. in City Council chambers, 94 Washington St. The meeting is open to the public.

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216 Comments on "Pedicabs – Doomed"

8 years 7 months ago

Nice in concept, but this sounds dangerous to me… in car vs. pedicab, car is going to win every time. If I can’t see around all the illegal corner-parkers to see if vehicles or pedestrians are about to jump out in my path, how will I see one of these?

Maybe they need to be restricted to the major streets where visibility (and room to pass them) is better.

8 years 7 months ago

Bad idea – Sarah’s right: good in concept, but…

Streets are already clogged, these are slow-moving vehicles, etc.

And you know this -will- mean more ‘accident’ stories for 411.

8 years 7 months ago

This concept scores on the “Lazy Meter” right down there with those rickshaws on the boardwalk in AC. C’mon, people, use your feet! Work off those mochaccinos! And at least you can try to avoid oncoming SUV’s while on foot – you’ve got no chance in one of these things!

8 years 7 months ago

I guess we’ll see if it works.

I heard of one cool idea in a northwest city, Maybe it was portland? They have green bikes. The city bought thousands of bikes painted green and they have bike racks set up all over town. So you just hop on any random green bike and drive it to where you want and leave it there. You don’t lock it up and than someone else can grab that bike and drive it wherever they want.

I think that idea is great but that would never work in Hoboken. All the green… Read more »