pedicabs

Tyler Pratt for KUT News

Update (Nov. 2, 7:30 a.m.): Austin City Council members voted 5 to 2 Thursday to grant a total of 30 new taxi permits to two of the city’s cab companies.

Members of the Taxis Drivers Association of Austin had argued that there are too many cabs on the road and that they’ve seen a decline in income.

But the two cab companies say the new permits are necessary to help level the playing field between them and their larger competitor.

"[We are in favor of the vote] In order to improve our company's service to not only our passengers, but to our drivers. We've been waiting since December of last year to find out if were receiving 10 additional permits," Bertha Means of Austin Cab said.

Pedicab rules regarding insurance, fares and more passed at a City Council meeting today.
Photo courtesy flickr.com/atmtx

While the city regulates and considers improvements to pedicab services, no new permits will be issued for six months. 

Photo by Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

It’s relatively light work for the Austin City Council today, what with a scant 40-item agenda and nary a single zoning item. Still there’s a few items of interest for intrepid council watchers.

Pedal Power: On the agenda are a couple of items regarding pedicabs, those ubiquitous, people-powered cabs pedaling all over Austin’s entertainment districts. The biggest change is a moratorium on new pedicab permits for six months.

Items 21 and 22 include new rules over how pedicabs can operate in the Sixth Street area. In addition to defining acceptable areas of operation, other possible changes include how customers may pay a pedicabber:  both customers and pedicabs must form lines, and a customer may only hire the pedicab at the front of the line.