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City Council Legalizes E-Bikes, E-Scooters

Photo: Stock Unsplash

June 25, 2020 By Christian Murray

The New York City Council passed legislation Thursday that legalizes the operation of most e-bicycles and e-scooters.

The legislation is a long time coming but the council had to wait for Albany to pass legislation allowing municipalities to approve their use. That took place earlier this year after much prompting by Queens legislators State Sen. Jessica Ramos and Assembly Member Nily Rozic.

The council essentially codified what the state passed earlier this year.

The legislation passed today legalizes e-bikes with a top speed of 25 miles per hour and e-scooters with a maximum speed of 20 miles per hour.

The rules governing e-bikes and e-scooters have been murky in New York City for some time. Up until now, pedal-assisted e-bikes were legal but throttle-powered e-bikes and scooters were not.

The throttle-powered e-bikes are popular with food delivery people.

The NYPD, with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s backing, had a history of confiscating throttle-powered e-bikes– and ticketing workers riding them. Both the mayor and NYPD were heavily criticized for doing so.

Council Member Costa Constantinides lauded the council for its vote today.

“I am proud to be part of a city council that continues to adapt and innovate based on the evolutions of our streetscape,” Constantinides said. “E-bikes and e-scooters have become an environmentally friendlier way to meet the rush of meal delivery demands, first brought about by online-ordering apps and then the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The council also passed legislation requiring the Department of Transportation to set up an e-scooter share pilot program—like Citi Bike—outside of Manhattan.

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A Voice

These bikes should always have been required to be registered and insured. Not only e-bikes and ALL motorized bikes, But ALL BIKES including human powered should be as well. But this city for the past 10 years been doing things ass backwards and expecting great results.


On the issue: half an hour ago almost killed an idiot on e-bike. He ran red light and went thru intersection in FH, 2-3 feet in front of me. I didn’t even see him coming in the twilight and him riding without a light. It’s a pity I couldn’t get him and seriously kick his butt! “They’re trying to earn a living”?! What about me or any other driver who would be devastated if he gets killed?!

Sara Ross

That’s just great! Sarcasm. Even more people on 2 wheels who can go through stop signs and red lights without getting a ticket in the mail; park at meters without paying for the spot; not have to register, get their vehicle inspected, take a driving test and get a license (all that cost drivers that actually SUPPORT this money grubbing city), pay for tolls or even get insurance. I hope the next administration has a head of DOT who doesn’t like bicyclists or any 2 wheeled vehicles. NYC has always been and should continue to be a walking and driving city.

Michael Flynn

Now that scooters or e-bikes/e-scootwrs have been legalized is therw a provision stopping them from riding on sidewalks and driving onto properties if not therw should be a rider attached to thus law as our “mayor” has seen fit to allow riding on sidewalks


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