You are reading

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.

email the author: [email protected]


Click for Comments 

Will the law force them to stop for red lights and stop signs? Many, if not the majority, simply ignore the traffic signals and speed on their own way, endangering their own lives as well as defenseless pedestrians!

safe biker

100lb bicycles with 200lb delivery guys going 25mph within inches of pedestrians on the non-separated bike/pedestrian paths is going to invite serious injury for some poor soul.
Many of these delivery guys aren’t going to stop after injuring someone either – for obvious reasons – I don’t think you’ll need 3 guesses why. These guys need to be licensed and insured if they are going to be travelling at those speeds anywhere near pedestrians or regular commuting bikers.

Zoo York

These bikes ride like a scooter/motorcycle so they belong to the car lane not bike lanes. Riding on the sidewalk should be a no no.. Going the wrong way should be no no.. A few weeks ago a delivery e-bike was riding on the sidewalk passed me so fast in front of 114th Precinct. I thought the policeman waiting outside was going to stop him. Instead he took out of his cell phone and made himself busy…We pay tax for what?

Minority of the Minority

Who is going to stop them riding full speed on the sidewalks, disregarding stop signs, traffic lights, pedestrians??? A mayor who does not care to stop looters would not care about this either I guess…

Maria Antonopoulos

Since they legalized them ,make them pay for insurance and license plates. If one of those hits a person or a car ,how is going to pay the damages. Plus since they are taking away streets from motorists that pay for the streets they must pay there share.


Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Op-ed: An urgent call for revising NY’s criminal justice reforms to protect public safety

Apr. 11, 2024 By Council Member Robert Holden

In 2019, the State Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo embarked on a controversial overhaul of New York’s criminal justice system by enacting several laws, including cashless bail and sweeping changes to discovery laws. Simultaneously, the New York City Council passed laws that compounded these challenges, notably the elimination of punitive segregation in city jails and qualified immunity for police officers. These actions have collectively undermined public safety and constrained law enforcement effectiveness.

Astoria welcomes ‘Our House’: A new co-working and community space

Apr. 11, 2024 By Allison Kridle

If you were to ask a Queens resident what’s one thing they want more of, they will likely reply: Space. For Astorians, many crave a place to gather, work, create, and meet neighbors or somewhere that feels like home where they can be productive all in one. Astoria business owners Anna Budinger, Alexandra Wolkoff and Kayli Kunkel saw this void and created Our House, “Astoria’s living room.”