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Pedicabs Hit The Streets Of Santa Monica

Photo courtesy of L.A. Bike Taxi
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It's been a little over a week since pedicabs showed up on the streets of Santa Monica.

LA Bike Taxi launched just a few months after Santa Monica approved an ordinance allowing pedicabs to operate in the city. Santa Monica joins other California cities including San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Huntington Beach and Long Beach to allow the 3-wheeled, people-powered cabs to operate.

Drivers have to pass a background check and obtain a permit with the city, according to Santa Monica Patch. The bikes will be inspected to make sure they have functioning brakes, headlights, tail lights and turn signals. Drivers have to register their posted rates with the city, and they're not allowed to charge anything above that. (Which hopefully means Santa Monica won't see the kind of price-gouging that New York has.)

The price of a ride with LA Bike Taxi is negotiable, but drivers have been suggesting $2 per person per block. The company said it might drop that rate down to $1, but for now, the company reports most of the riders have agreed to the rate. There's no cap to the number of pedicabs that can operate within city limits, and so far there are four licensed drivers.

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LA Streetsblog writes that so far there haven't been any huge issues: "I can confirm that the circles of hell have not come unleashed upon the fair city of Santa Monica. Traffic congestion in popular areas is often slow going, but that has always been the case. So we have Santa Monica, much the same as it has been, but plus some pedicabs now."

There are more pedicabs on the way: Trike Pilots has applied for a business license bringing as many as 20 more pedicabs to Santa Monica, Patch reports. Santa Monica Pedicab plans to open up soon as well, LA Streetsblog reports.

LA Bike Taxi has plans to expand to certain parts of Los Angeles. Founder Jose Prats told the Santa Monica Mirror, "Hollywood and Downtown LA are congested and need a better way for people to get around, so we hope to expand to these areas."

While he was a councilman, Mayor Eric Garcetti presented a motion encouraging the city's transportation agency to consider a pilot program for tourists to maneuver around Hollywood.

Leron Gubler, president and chief executive of Hollywood's Chamber of Commerce, told the Los Angeles Times, "Sometimes, it's a little too far for some people to walk. Or people might do it just for fun."