Got a pedicab? Your business will soon be regulated by the city for your safety.
Those rickshaw-like three wheeled bicycles with wide bench seats attached that often show up around big events now have a few rules to follow. The city council approved on first reading an ordinance that sets up an application system for pedicab business owners to legally operate in Knoxville. For the application to be approved, business owners have to pass a background check, provide proof of insurance for the business, and describe the colors and identifying marks of each pedicab. Oh, and pay $100 up front and $50 every year to stay legal.
Drivers of the pedicabs (not necessarily the owners) now have to have a pedicab driver's permit, which you apply for through the city. Those licenses will be valid for a year.
Routes that the pedicabs plan to take have to be approved by the city police department, which will be in charge of enforcing the ordinance.
The city council seemed amused by the ordinance when it came up, and none of the members voiced any objection to regulating the businesses--probably because they'd never heard of pedicabs.
"I've heard of pedicures, but not pedicabs!" Councilman Nick Della Volpe said when the ordinance came up.
Then the council was assured that regular taxicab regulations didn't fit pedicab needs, they quickly approved the first reading of the ordinance without much discussion. It seems likely the ordinance will be passed next month.