Tchida said there has been an increased interest from individuals wanting to operate pedicabs in the city, and current city ordinances do not regulate the operation of pedicabs in Georgetown. If no ordinance prohibits pedicabs, according to Tchida, they may be able operate without regulation, and this is something the city needs to address.
“There are ordinances that cover taxi operations, but they are specifically defined in the ordinance as motor vehicles,” Tchida said of the current law. “There is also an ordinance that regulates nonmotorized vehicles for hire, but those are specifically defined as being pulled by animals.”
City Council expressed interest in a trial period for pedicabs and discussed possible safety regulations that might be imposed.
Council Member Amanda Parr of District 1 expressed support for a trial of the program but was concerned for safety regulations throughout the city.
“I do think it’s time we update this ordinance,” Parr said. “If we were to implement this, regulation is key.”
Council's concerns included overcrowding the Georgetown Square, safety concerning pedestrians and how the pedicabs will be regulated.
“I’m concerned we will have the [police department] be the regulators of pedicabs downtown,” Council Member Tommy Gonzalez of District 7 said about managing the pedicabs. “We talk about walkability [in the city], and now we want to introduce pedicabs to the downtown.”
Council members said they want to protect the safety of pedestrians as well as those driving pedicabs. Ideas ranged from having a trial period when pedicabs are regulated to certain areas, such as outside parking lots near the downtown Square, and where they are allowed to travel.
City Council will explore different avenues to safely bring pedicabs to Georgetown in future council meetings and workshops.