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Pedi-Cab Companies Slow to Get Certified

A couple of companies have started going through the city’s new certification and licensing process for slow-moving vehicles.

Four companies listed with the city are expected to go through the certification and licensing process for slow-moving vehicles.

One already has, and officials are planning to send letters to the others letting them know the new process is in place this week.

City leaders approved rules regulating pedi-cabs, golf carts, surrey bicycles and other slow-moving vehicles March 15. The rules went into effect April 15.

The Beach Shuttle, Jolley Trolley, Fun Ride Rentals and Florida Free Rides are expected to go through the city’s screening process for drivers and their for-hire vehicles. 

Kevin Martyn of Florida Free Rides submitted a driver application and certification paperwork for four carts, which are certified for 20-25 mph, according to city records.

The Segway Adventure, which rents the two-wheeled upright vehicles, also has submitted certification paperwork for its nine Segways, according to city records.

Janet McMahan, who works in the city’s code enforcement department, is sending out letters to business owners this week to make sure they know about the certification and licensing process.

All drivers and vehicles must be listed in the application. The city also is requiring an application fee of $75 for the safety certificate, which has to be renewed Sept. 30 each year. The renewal fee is $50. Drivers also have to register with the city for $50.

McMahan said already there has been one complaint of an unauthorized rental. She said enforcement of the pedi-cab rules can take place through phone calls. Police, code and parking enforcement officials can issue citations to violators.

McMahan said the Jolley Trolley is listed as a possible low-speed vehicle service. 

“We’ve actually had it in our business plan for a couple of years to evaluate it,” said Robert Longenecker, president of the Jolley Trolley. 

But when the time comes each year to spend the money on looking into adding that service, something comes up, including trolley replacement, he said. 

“We’re just not there yet,” Longenecker said.

Longenecker has given presentations in the past on using small, low-speed vehicles in Tarpon Springs. He also has criticized the golf cart vehicles’ safety. He circulated a YouTube video in December showing how they perform in crash tests. 

“I continue my search for an appropriate vehicle to insure the safety of our visitors while delivering some fun … but it is certainly not a golf cart,” he wrote in the email circulated to city officials and members of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium board of directors.

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