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Pedicabs Coming to Downtown, Face License Fees

By Marcus Gilmer in News on May 14, 2009 9:00PM

Photo by *Soup*
Pedicabs are a growing business and are going to be making their way downtown, but not without a price. Based on an ordinance introduced to the City Council yesterday, Mayor Daley is looking to regulate the pedicabs on Chicago streets by forcing pedicab bikers to get licensed and pay a fee. The borders for the pedicabs would be approximately Oak Street, LaSalle, Roosevelt and Lake Michigan and fares, while not regulated by the city, would have to be clearly posted, eliminating haggling. The license fee of $400 would only be issued to pedicab bikers who have, per the Sun-Times, "insurance to cover $50,000 worth of property damage, $100,000 to cover injuries to one passenger and $300,000 to cover multiple injuries." Pedicabs would also be limited to weekends and after 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Norma Reyes, commissioner of the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, told the Sun-Times:

“People are really interested in other forms of transportation — in terms of the environment, the green movement. The ambience. People like to be [transported] — not in a Corvette, but [by] a bike that’s open and being driven around,” Reyes said.

“They have about 500 in New York. They have ‘em in Miami and in other jurisdictions. The pedicab industry has been growing in various cities around the country. We started seeing pedicabs in Chicago about a year ago. There's definitely an industry here."

Mayor Daley sponsored the bill, citing safety issues as the main reason for the license requirement. Though, ever the classy gentleman, when asked about the three passenger per pedicab limit, MayDay said, “We’re not gonna weigh people.” Har har, but just you wait; give him time and he'll figure out a way to tax passengers by the pound.