ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) The Arlington City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to end the pedicab and golf cart program that typically shuttles people from the surrounding parking lots.
City leaders say the current model just isn’t working, and they have no choice but to shut it down in March.READ MORE: North Texas Residents Taking Steps Forward Nearly 1 Year Since Pandemic Was Declared
“This is part of my retirement plan,” said Steve Burdick, who launched Go Green Pedicabs 15 year ago.
As an avid cyclist and a longtime Arlington resident, it’s been a dream gig.
“Many of the small children will totally forget the Ranger game they went to, but they’ll remember the pedicab ride they had,” he said.
But those rides will soon be a thing of the past.
City staff told the council they’ve received multiple complaints about the safety of the pedicabs and golf carts from drivers, operators, the Texas Rangers and the Dallas Cowboys.
“They were picking up and dropping off passengers in restricted locations,” said Arlington Assistant Director of Public Works and Transportation, Keith Brooks.”Vehicles driving between cars, vehicles driving on sidewalks, and then there were constant reports of verbal altercations and inappropriate behavior between operators in front of patrons.”
Several pedicab operators asked the council to revise the current program, instead of shutting it down altogether.READ MORE: Woman Dead, 2 Children Injured In Shooting In Dallas
They said they would welcome more enforcement to help get rid of bad operators.
“This is my livelihood,” said one. “It’s something that I have loved for eight years. It’s supported my family.”
The council ultimately voted 8-0 to let it end in March, when current operator permits expire.
“I estimate there’s something in the neighborhood of 300 people that are going to lose jobs because of this,” said Burdick. “So yea, it’s a gut punch for sure.”
The council did leave the door open for the pedicab program to continue in a different capacity.
Several members said they were open to considering contracting with just one business, or seeing if the Rangers or the Cowboys wanted to operate the program.
“We’re still going to look at alternatives to see if pedicabs can continue in this community,” said Mayor Jeff Williams.MORE NEWS: Texas Reports 2,420 New COVID-19 Cases, 84 More Deaths Sunday
Pedicab owners at the meeting weren’t very optimistic that will actually happen.