[dc-critmass-list] more on tasered driver / tourmobile
pedal_power_pete at hotmail.com
Tue Jul 19 12:31:22 EDT 2011
I came across the above-linked report, issued by a congressional committee to protect small business, in a document search to understand the scope of Tourmobile's charter. I believe that in reviewing the charter or the prospectus (may need to obtain via a FOIL request), we can see if Tourmobile is overstepping.
At the time of this hearing, Tourmobile had 25 stops. The question is, does Tourmobile enjoy an unfair advantage at the expense of small business?
The concession was granted in 1969, after the Parks Dept (?) presented a prospectus. That's odd. The Parks Dept is all wrapped up in it somehow.
If a pedicab driver took care not to solicit anywhere near the 25 stops, how is that interfering with the Tourmobile? This is a very similar argument presented to us years ago by a Central Park administrator, that pedicabs would compete with the carriage horses if allowed to pick up and drop off. And your point is? Evidently, the Tourmobile lobby helped kill the DC Circulator, operated by a BID, according to the committee report.
Well, now, in Central Park, we have 13 approved spots where registered NYC pedicabs may pick up and drop off passengers. So, pedicabs have moved the ball a few yards forward.
Still, this is a new low for DC and the Parks Service. When I helped a company launch in 1995 down there (Potomac Pedicabs, no longer operating), this issue came up. It obviously hasn't gone away.
Even then with just a handful of pedicabs in town, Tourmobile and its exclusive access was a sticking point. I thought all of this had been consensed upon lately. And aren't taxis allowed to drop off and pick up around the mall?
DC Pedicab operators are going to have to get together, put up a little fight, hire a lawyer (just like we did with NYCPOA when we won an Article 78 lawsuit vs. the city), and take on the Tourmobile and the Parks Dept, as well as consider suing for aggressive use of force upon the tasered driver. I hope the driver has recovered. Any news?
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