ARLINGTON, Texas — Updated at 8:48 p.m. with the Arlington City Council's decision.
The Arlington City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to let the current ordinance allowing pedicabs and golf carts for hire to expire on March 1.
Tuesday night was just the first reading of a new ordinance about the matter, city officials said. A second reading date is pending, and some councilmembers said they would like to revisit other options for the program in the near future.
Pedicab and golf cart for-hire operators in Arlington could soon be out of a job as the city considers taking them off the streets for good.
The Arlington city council took up an ordinance that would repeal and terminate the Pedicab and Neighborhood Electric Vehicle-for-Hire program at Tuesday’s meeting.
“It’s like a gut punch,” said Steve Burdick, owner of Go Green Bike Taxi.
Burdick has carried fans to and from Texas Rangers and Dallas Cowboys games for the last 10 years.
“What am I going to do now?" Burdick asked.
The city cited traffic and safety concerns as reasons to terminate the program launched in 2010 that allowed pedicabs and golf carts for hire to operate in Arlington's entertainment district.
Pedicabs and neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs) like golf carts have been known to weave in and out of traffic, trespass on private property, overload vehicles, drive on sidewalks and operate outside designated areas, according to a city spokesperson.
“The city has painted the picture that basically we’re a bunch of lawless idiots,” Burdick said. “Of course I don’t think that’s the case.”
Burdick said he understands the importance of safety but says punishing all operators because of a few isn’t the answer.
“I don’t want anyone to get hurt,” Burdick said. “I don’t want to get hurt.”
The city should consider more enforcement, rather than doing away with pedicabs and NEVs altogether, Burdick said.
If the council approves the new ordinance, operators could face a fine of up to $500 for transporting customers starting March 15th.
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