Manhattan Bicycle Rickshaw/Pedicab Scam

 

A pedi-cab in Times Square in NYC days before the new years 2011 party. Photo taken on: December 25th, 2010

Credit line:© Michael Ludwig | Dreamstime.com

A pedicab driver scammed my daughter and me in Manhattan recently. My daughter and I Christmas shopped for several hours one day in December. As we walked towards our hotel, we decided to climb into a bicycle rickshaw. The driver gave us a heavy wool blanket and rolled down a thick plastic sheet for warmth. Our pedicab weaved in and out of swarming -yellow taxicabs. Some came within inches of our cart. I contemplated jumping out, but I stayed to enjoy the relaxing adventure with my daughter.

 

After six blocks of horn-screaming bumper-to-bumper traffic, my heart was pounding. I had enough fun.

I was looking forward to a great dinner with my family, so I wasn’t ready to die in a pedicab. (They would never let me live it down.)

When we exited the rickshaw, the driver said that we owed him $40. As I questioned him about the price, a man pulled up next to us and asked about our discussion. I said that the driver charged us $40 for pedaling six blocks. When the man glared at the rickshaw driver, I knew that we were scammed.  I tossed $20 to the rickshaw driver and walked away.

I researched pedicab companies to learn the appropriate cost for pedicab rides. The Central Park Pedicab Tour site’s price list seems reasonable. Also, The NYC Pedicab Owners’ Association offers tips to avoid scams. My advice is to negotiate a price before climbing into a bicycle- rickshaw -death trap.

What has been your experience with pedicabs in Manhattan?