Legalizing e-scooters in NYC faces challenges

Several City Council members want New Yorkers to be allowed to ride electric bikes and scooters and not worry about being ticketed.

Ydanis Rodriguez, Fernando Cabrera, Rafael Espinal, and Margaret Chin introduced bills that would allow the operation of e-bikes and e-scooters, establish an e-bike conversion program, and create an e-scooter share pilot program.

Currently, if you operate an e-scooter or a throttle-controlled e-bike you could get slapped with a $500 fine.

Immigrants and delivery workers are the ones affected the most, according to the organization Transportation Alternatives.

The proposed legislation would cap the speed limit at 15 mph for e-scooters and e-bikes will not be allowed to go faster than 20 mph.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has raised concerns about safety. He said he'll only support the bills if certain standards are met.

"Under current conditions, there is a safety problem," the mayor said. "The only way I would get comfortable is if we can address that safety problem.

Espinal countered that the danger is not from the bike or scooter.

"It's the behavior of whoever decides to break the law and go against traffic, ride on the sidewalks," Espinal said.

The City Council members who introduced these bills will now have to hold a hearing. The bills will need 26 votes and, of course, the mayor's approval to become law.