City Council’s Committee on Consumer Affairs is weighing a plan to place new regulations on Midtown’s pedicab drivers, forcing them to charge by the minute and place large, readable rate signs on the curb. Citing one incident in which a tourist family paid $442 for a 12-minute, 15-block cab ride, Councilman Daniel Garodnick referred to the pedicab industry as “Midtown’s Wild West.” According to the New York Times, under the new regulations being considered, that ride would have cost as little as $20. Drivers are currently allowed to set their own rates, as long as they’re posted on rate cards, and often use complex, confusing formulas for charging passengers. Under the new rules, pedicab drivers would be required to carry timers and charge a straight, by-the-minute rate.

(Photo: Elvert Barnes/Flickr)