The Straits Times
Published on Oct 23, 2012

NYC putting foot down after US$442 pedicab fare


NEW YORK (AP) - Even in an era of US$500 (S$611) hotel rooms and US$18 cocktails, the US$442 that a Texas family paid for a ride in a New York City pedicab has become notorious.

The outrageous fare made headlines in the city's tabloids over the summer, and since then, officials have been pushing for a simplified pricing structure so tourists don't get taken for a ride.

Even operators of the pedicabs - essentially adult tricycles with a padded seat that can carry three passengers - say publicity over the mother of all shakedown fares has given all of them a bad name.

"It was not good for us," Mr Souleymane Toure said as he hawked riders for his pedicab in Central Park. "Because any time you stop somebody for the ride they say, 'Are you going to charge us $400?"'