City Council to legalize electric bikes and scooters, set up scooter-share pilot program

e scooter
Photo credit Getty Images
By 1010 WINS

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- The New York City Council is set to approve legislation on Thursday that would legalize electric bikes and scooters.

The three bills will legalize both bicycles with electric motors that can travel up to 25 mph as well as scooters that can travel up to 20 mph across the city.

It would also require the Department of Transportation to set up an e-scooter share pilot program outside of Manhattan.

"With the legalization of e-bikes that travel only up to 25 mph, and restrictions on impoundment to those e-bikes that don’t meet this standard, our delivery workers, who provided an essential service during the coronavirus pandemic, will feel safer in their daily work, supporting their families," said Bronx Councilman Fernando Cabrera who is the main sponsor of the legislation.

Speaker Corey Johnson has backed the package which is expected easily pass.

"New Yorkers need more sustainable and safe ways to commute and get around during this pandemic — and that is especially true for our essential delivery workers who deserve our gratitude and our support for keeping this city running even through the darkest days of this crisis. Ebikes and scooters are going to be a major part of our city’s transit future," Johnson said.

The share pilot program is supposed to launch by March 2021, but will only be allowed in the outer boroughs and will prioritize neighborhoods that aren’t served by existing bike-share programs such as Citi Bike.