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Scam Alert - NYC Pedicabs are The Most Expensive Transportation in the World!

News headlines were all over the media late last year about the new regulation signed by NYC mayor, Michael Bloomberg, restricting what and how pedicab drivers can charge unsuspecting tourists.  That was 2012, and guess what?  Nothing much changed even today, and it's June 2013.

The problem with pedicab's excessive charges only became a hot issue when a Texas family was charged $442.54 for a 12-minute ride, but this has been going on everyday for so many years.  So why isn't NYC doing something about it?

First of all, NYC doesn't really give a crab about the tourists unlike many other major cities in the US, and locals would never jump into one of those pedicabs.  Secondly, it seems that NYC cops actually wants to protect the business of pedicab owners for whatever the reason is.  It could be because pedicabs are one of NYPD's good income sources; not only for business tax but for traffic tickets.

Savas Avci who ripped off the Texas Family with $442 charge gets a reward by NYC instead of penalty.  He gets another license to operate his 2nd pedicab.

For those of you who are planning to visit NYC, stay far away from the pedicabs unless you are a risk taker and willing to either pay a huge sum of money or get into a confrontation and argument in the the middle of busy streets.  Pedicab drivers can basically charge you what ever they want, and they will not make it clear up front about how much it will cost.

I have not been to NYC for a quiet a while, and I experienced the reality of pedicab problems myself.   It was extremely dangerous to sit in that little cart, almost coming into a contact or impact within a couple of inches from cars.  My ride was also about 10-minutes for a family of four: two adults and two kids, and the pedicab driver demanded $270 at the end of the ride.

The price of the ride was pre-negotiated at $2 / block + $5.  Well, that sounds pretty straight forward and not excessively expensive.  The missing part or the trick used by the driver was that the fair is per person not per ride even though the question was asked as how much it will cost for four of us.  I'm sure they have other ways to get you in different situations.

The worst part of the story is that the nearby NYC cops that I called for help immediately sided with the pedicab driver. This is the NYC cops exact words as I remember: "We see a lot of people having similar problems", "$270 sounds about right. These things are expensive".

Even doormen at some of the city’s top hotels say they regularly deal with pleading guests who have fallen victims of pedicab scams.

“I’ve almost gotten into fistfights with them [the drivers],” said Waldorf-Astoria doorman Edgar Toro.

Freddy Davilla, a doorman at The Plaza, said he deals with excessively overcharged tourists six or seven times a week.  So that really shows how wide spread the problem is, and how many victims there are everyday.

“It’s really out of control,” he said.  In some cases, he calls the cops to report the high prices, but police are hamstrung because the law lets the drivers charge whatever they want.

News articles from major media reports that new regulations are in place, but I can assure you that the regulations are NOT ENFORCED on the streets of NYC as of today.

Update: Crooked NYC Pedicab drivers go high tech

Scam Alert - NYC Pedicabs are The Most Expensive Transportation in the World! Reviewed by Blogs on 11:55 AM Rating: 5

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