SEASIDE HEIGHTS, NJ – As New Jersey’s economy continues digging out of two years of pandemic superpowers and lockdowns at the hands of Democrat Governor Phil Murphy, Monmouth County Democrat Vin Gopal thinks he has a way to stimulate the economy.
Drinking in pedicabs.
Pedicabs are mobile units that are peddled through the streets of communities where people can consume alcohol and get peddled around town under Gopal’s bill. Gopal believes legalizing pedicabs in New Jersey could kickstart the local economies, especially in shore towns like Atlantic City, or perhaps even Seaside Heights, Belmar, Long Branch and Asbury Park where bars are plenty.
This week, legislation sponsored by Gopal and Senator Linda Greenstein that would permit and regulate the operation of pedicabs and the consumption of alcoholic beverages in pedicabs in certain circumstances was released by the Senate.
Now, in a unanimous vote in the senate, pedicabs are one step closer to being legalized. It’s not sure at this time if pedicab passengers will be able to smoke weed while sitting in the pedicab, riding through the streets.
The bill, S-1505, is designed to not only help pedicab operators but also to give New Jersey residents the opportunity to help stimulate the economy by providing an outdoor, small-group leisure activity that is safe and well-regulated.
Under the bill, pedicabs would be able to operate under the following conditions:
- the pedicab has been authorized to operate by ordinance of its municipality;
- the operator must be 21 years old and possess a driver’s license;
- the vehicle must be equipped with seatbelts, brakes, reflectors, headlights, and grab rails;
- the owner of the pedicab cannot drive faster than 30 miles per hour
“This legislation will allow local outdoor businesses such as pedicabs, which have gained in popularity, to compete and continue to prosper within the hospitality industry,” said Senator Gopal (D-Monmouth).
Gopal issued the following in a release about his pedicab bill:
Under the bill, the actual operator of the pedicab would not be allowed to consume alcoholic beverages while operating the vehicle, nor would the owner or operator be able to sell passengers food, alcoholic beverages, or any other liquid refreshments.
Alcoholic beverages allowed onto the pedicab would be limited to single-serving sealed containers of: beer; wine; hard cider; mead; other malt beverages; other fermented beverages, such as hard seltzer and hard tea; and prepared mixed beverages made with spirits.
Each passenger of a pedicab would be required to be least 21 years old.
“The recreational enjoyment of pedicabs has grown over the past couple of years as more outdoor consumption of food and beverages became a staple of the COVID pandemic era. We need to give these operators every chance to succeed under a safe, well-regulated environment,” said Senator Greenstein (D-Middlesex/Mercer).
Current New Jersey law does not allow pedicab passengers to drink alcohol while riding the pedicab. This bill would bring New Jersey pedicab rules into alignment with some other states, including California, North Carolina, and Louisiana, all of which allow alcohol on board the pedicab.
The Senate released the bill by a vote of 36-0.