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