Legal Questions Surround Man's Midtown Pedicab Empire, Report Says

By Gabriela Resto-Montero on February 20, 2011 3:34pm 

The pedicab industry is under scrutiny by the City Council and a West 57th Street garage owner may be breaking the law.
The pedicab industry is under scrutiny by the City Council and a West 57th Street garage owner may be breaking the law.
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DNAinfo/Amy Zimmer

By Gabriela Resto-Montero

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

MIDTOWN — A Midtown entrepreneur's fleet of pedicabs run out of a garage on West 57th Street may be breaking the law, the New York Post reported Sunday.

Osman Zenk, 33, a former pedicab driver himself, runs 109 of the vehicles out of a garage on 11th Avenue, the Post reported. City law says an individual owner can only rent out 30 pedicabs at a time.

Zenk reportedly has some of the vehicles, which cost $5,000 each, registered under his wife and mother-in-law's names, the paper reported.

Pedicab drivers rent the cabs from Zenk for $250 a week and the paper reported he may bring in as much as $26,000 a week during the tourist season.

The pedicab boom in Midtown has drawn attention from lawmakers, who want to hold the rickshaws to the same safety and moving rules as cabs.

Councilmember Dan Garodnick proposed the strictest bill at City Council last week, asking that pedicab drivers with three violations in one year have their licenses revoked.

While some pedicab drivers protested that the proposed legislation does not distinguish between moving violations, like blocking traffic, and mechanical problems, other groups welcomed the regulation, saying it would weed out bad drivers.

For his part, Zenk denied breaking ownership rules to the Post.

"I own 30 pedicabs. You cannot own more than 30 pedicabs," he said to the paper.

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