SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - By a unanimous vote, the San Diego City Council voted Monday to hike pedicab fees, making it nearly twice as costly to be a pedicab driver.
Police say the increase for annual operator fees from $212 to $409 is needed because of extra enforcement, including aggressive inspections and undercover operations targeting price gouging.
Ali Horuz, who manages four different pedicab companies, says the higher fees will be a hardship, especially for drivers getting into the business. He says right now, the local market is short about 50 drivers.
"It's going to be harder to find qualified drivers. We're competing against Uber and Lyft. It's definitely going to affect the market, where we are going to see fewer pedicab drivers," said Horuz.
While the number of drivers is shrinking, the regulations may be increasing. Citing complaints from the community, Councilman Chris Ward wants the city to set a uniform rate structure, while banning loud horns, flashing lights and amplified music. Horuz says the lights and loud horns are needed safety precautions, while overly loud music is a product of a few bad drivers.
A council committee will look at the proposal Wednesday.