Many pedicab drivers have quit since stricter regulations were put in place, but at least one is still doing it the old school way, ripping off tourists big-time. Ken Smith, 41, says that he and his family took a New Year’s Eve pedicab ride for 15 blocks and when they arrived at their destination, the driver charged them a whopping $165. According to Smith, the driver broke at least two laws: illegally covering the small rate sign with his feet, and charging per passenger.
For Smith, a Red Cross worker living in Haiti who been doing humanitarian work for 20 years, it came as a particular insult to be scammed on U.S. soil. He tells the New York Post, “We saw and know most of the scams all over the planet, and, sadly, we’re victims to one in our own country.”
The new regulations require that drivers charge by the minute, post visible prices, and use timers approved by the city. In this instance, it seems the driver ignored those rules. Smith reported the incident to 311. A spokeswoman for the Department of Consumers Affairs says that the agency will investigate the incident.
Still, “we still love New York City,” Smith says; his family will return to the Big Apple.
(Photo: Elvert Barnes)