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NYC mayor signs law restricting pedicab fares

Tourists rode a pedicab in Central Park. Most pedicabs now charge by block, per passenger, but that will change.

SPENCER PLATT/GETTY IMAGES

Tourists rode a pedicab in Central Park. Most pedicabs now charge by block, per passenger, but that will change.

NEW YORK — Pedicabs will have to follow new rate rules by next summer under a plan Mayor Michael Bloom­berg signed Thursday to rein in runaway fares for the pedal-powered taxis.

The new law aims to keep pedicab passengers from being taken for a ride by confusing charges that can add up to more than some airline tickets. In one infamous episode this summer, a Texas family paid more than $400 for a 14-block pedicab jaunt.

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Bloomberg had held off signing the law Wednesday, saying he wanted more information after a pedicab driver complained about it.

After looking into it further, the mayor decided it would create a reasonable fare system and increase protections for passengers, spokeswoman Evelyn Erskine said.

About 700 pedicabs now operate in the city, according to the New York City Pedicab Owners’ Association. The pedal cabs, which have three-passenger carriages, are popular with tourists.

Most pedicabs now charge by block and per passenger, sometimes adding various fees. The new measure requires them to charge by the minute with visible timers.

It will ensure ‘‘no pedicab rider will be surprised with unknown, illegal, or unexpected charges at the end of their ride,’’ the law’s sponsor, City Councilor Daniel Garodnick, said in a statement Thursday.

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