New York set to legalize e-scooters and e-bikes

Posted On Tue, June 18, 2019 By

Posted On Tue, June 18, 2019 By In Policy, Transportation

Image via Flickr cc

New York lawmakers reached an agreement on a bill to legalize e-scooters and e-bikes across the state and are expected to vote on the matter this Wednesday, the New York Post reports. The bill would legalize e-bikes and scooters but each city will ultimately be able to decide how to regulate the vehicles. Local governments will also have the power to decide whether to launch shared networks of e-bikes and e-scooters and have complete control over their operations. However, the language in the bill specifically bars New York City from launching an e-scooter sharing system in Manhattan.

“We appreciate this common-sense legislation that clarifies the rules around e-bikes on our streets,” said City Hall spokesman Seth Stein. “Safety for everyone on our roads is our priority, and we look forward to working with legislators and communities as we develop plans to implement the new law.”

Other restrictions of the bill include vehicles capped at 20 miles per hour, a minimum age of 16 years for riders, and a ban on both e-scooters and e-bikes along the Hudson River Greenway.

As the Post noted, Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson had declined to make these changes until the state took action. Last year, de Blasio cracked down on e-bikes through law enforcement in a campaign that largely impacted food delivery drivers and immigrant workers.

“This law drastically improves the day-to-day lives of millions of people,” Brooklyn Councilman Rafael Espinal—who had previously sponsored legislation in the City Council to legalize the bikes and scooters—said in a statement.

“Whether it’s reducing their commutes using environmentally-friendly electric-scooters, or simply being able to efficiently work without receiving a burdensome fine — today is a historic moment for the commuters and workers of New York City and the state as a whole.”

[Via New York Post]

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