NYC Council lifts restrictions on e-bikes, e-scooters

Although New York state legalized electric bikes and electric scooters earlier this year, the New York City Council formally followed suit on Thursday by voting to lift restrictions on three classes of e-bikes and e-scooters.

Council Speaker Corey Johnson said that the legislation will give delivery workers as many options to get around as possible now that businesses in New York City are slowly reopening.

"The Council is now acting to remove the local law that prohibits them and adds measures designed to ensure that delivery cyclists are not subject to unequal crackdowns and summonses of their bikes by the New York City Police Department," the council said in a statement.

The maximum speed for e-bikes is 25 mph and for e-scooters it is 20 mph.  

The legislation also gives the green light to a shared e-scooter pilot program that would begin in March 2021. The shared program will not include Manhattan. 

Although the City Council passed the legislation and Mayor Bill de Blasio said he will sign it, some members of the council remain opposed to e-bikes and e-scooters, saying they pose dangers to pedestrians and others.

The mayor said his administration will keep an eye on safety issues.

"We're going to be doing a pilot and we want to be very mindful of the safety issues there," de Blasio said. "But it's absolutely the right thing to do."


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