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Chicago City Council Sets New Limits on Pedicabs

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City Council Sets New Limits on Pedicabs

Commuters have one less option to get around the Loop, Michigan Avenue and State Street under an ordinance approved by aldermen Wednesday.

Pedicabs -- the tricycle taxis -- can no longer operate on the popular thoroughfares during rush hours. Additionally, the number of pedicabs that can exist in the city is capped at 200.

The new ordinance also mandates that owners, which have operated in the city for several years with minimal to no oversight, get obtain a $250 annual license and obtain insurance.

Operators have argued the new rules will hurt their business, especially the stipulations on travel in the downtown areas.

"This is the district where all of our customers are, it's where our passengers want to go, it's where we take people on tours to showcase the city," T.C. O'Rourke, a pedicab operator who sits on the board of the new Chicago Pedicab Association said during the city's License and Transportation Committee hearing. "I don’t know why anyone would want to take a pedicab tour if they couldn’t see the Mag Mile. It’s something that our city is known for. It also makes it virtually impossible to navigate the largely one-way street grid that was designed around these two major roadways."

Ald. Tom Tunney (44th), who sponsored the ordinance, said the goal is to improve safety.

The full text of the legislation is posted on the website of the Chicago City Council.

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