NYCHA unveils new safety proposal for e-bike owners

New York City’s Housing Authority is cracking down on e-bikes. 

Under a new proposal, NYCHA tenants can own and operate them, but only if they follow specific rules. Residents:

  • Must be an adult, present and awake while charging a battery
  • Can only charge one e-bike at a time
  • Cannot use refurbished batteries
  • Cannot charge batteries using extension cords or power strips
  • Cannot charge e-bikes, near an apartment door or in the common area

The proposed policy also prohibits devices other than legal e-bikes and e-scooters that, due to their size, weight, DMV categorization, or use of an internal combustion engine, are not appropriate for storage in NYCHA apartments.

The new rules come after a string of deadly fires across the city, sparked by the lithium-ion batteries that power the e-bikes.

"I've seen them before like in my building, I’ve seen them, like as the elevator opens up, I’ve seen the scooters there. And me personally, I’m not for it, I’m against it," said Antionio Arroyo, who lives in NYCHA Wagner Houses in East Harlem.

This summer in Chinatown, four people died in an inferno caused by an overheated battery inside an E-bike shop—the tragedies led apartment complexes to propose new rules, including NYCHA.

The proposed rules have received pushback from some e-bike users. Delivery drivers told FOX 5 NY that buying certified batteries for e-bikes will cost more than refurbished ones for e-bike owners, many of whom are migrants using e-bikes as a fast travel option to deliver food from apps.

That said, riders who spoke with FOX 5 NY said that they understand the new rules due to the danger of lithium-ion battery fires.

It is currently unclear how NYCHA will enforce these rules. The proposal won’t be finalized until sometime next year. 

More information can be found here.