The New York City Council voted on Thursday to legalize electric bikes and scooters citywide and create a pilot program that would bring a shared e-scooter program to neighborhoods underserved by public transit. State lawmakers approved the legalization of e-bikes and e-scooters statewide in April, leaving the decision to local officials on how to regulate the vehicles.
Photo courtesy of Lyft
Citi Bike’s popular pedal-assist fleet has returned to New York City, nearly a year after the company pulled them from service because of a safety issue. The bike-share company, operated by Lyft, announced on Wednesday plans to start rolling out “several hundred” e-bikes, which will be available to rent at the nearly 900 Citi Bike stations found across the city.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday vetoed a bill that would have legalized electric bikes and scooters, despite overwhelming support from lawmakers and advocacy groups. Approved by Albany in June, the bill legalized e-bikes and e-scooters, capping their speeds at 25 and 20 miles per hour, respectively, for riders aged 16 years and older. But Cuomo said the bill, sponsored by Assembly Member Nily Rozic and State Sen. Jessica Ramos, left out safety measures he had sought.
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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.