E-Bikes Become Street Legal In NYC And Bikers Love It

E-bikes are coming to NYC

Summary & Quick Facts

  • New York recently approved new rules making e-bikes that do not go over 20mph street legal.
  • Throttle-controlled electric bikes that can travel faster than 20 m.p.h. will remain illegal and subject to confiscation if you are caught on the roads.
  • The fine for operating an illegal e-bike is $500.
  • You may also have to pay a fine to retrieve a confiscated bike from the NYPD.
  • Businesses will still be subject to a $100 fine for operating illegal throttle-controlled bikes.
  • The new regulations pave the way for dockless bike-share programs to operate in NYC.

Bikers Can Now Cruise The City Streets With Ease…

New Yorkers are always on the move. Whether by car, bike or walking, New Yorkers have a variety of ways to get around town. Now there’s another option hitting the road that gives New Yorkers a way to get around the city. It’s on two wheels and you don’t have to pedal all the time. We’re talking about e-bikes and its popularity is growing amongst businesses, resturants and residents across the city.  The city recently in April made pedal-assist e-bikes street legal in New York City. Learn about New York’s new street-legal e-bike regulations.

What Is An E-bike?

An E-bike is basically an electric bicycle. It looks the same and weighs about the same as a regular bike. Although they are electrically powered, they do not have the rapid acceleration a motorized bike would. Still, some of these e-bikes can really go and let riders exceed 20 miles per hour through the use of a rechargeable electric battery. Nonetheless, people use e-bikes they are easier to maneuver uphill and take less energy. For those who rely on their bicycles for a long commute or employment, having a bit of extra power comes in handy. For this reason, e-bikes are now a mainstay in the delivery industry.


What Was The Old Law?

New York City law originally classified all e-bikes as “motorized scooters” that cannot be registered by the DMV as street-legal vehicles. This was solidified last October, when Mayor Bill de Blasio, citing “a huge growth of complaints from neighborhood residents,” announced that his administration would begin severely cracking down on the people who use them.

The city imposed threatening fines of up to $500 for the riders themselves, and fines starting at $100 for businesses that employed workers who use or own them. The civil fine for retrieving an e-bike confiscated by the NYPD is $500.


NYC E-bike Rule Changes

New York recently approved new rules for electric bikes, allowing bikes that do not go over 20mph. Riders who have these bikes no longer have to fear confiscation and the $500 ticket. Nevertheless,throttle-controlled electric bikes that can travel faster than 20 m.p.h. will remain illegal and subject to confiscation.


How Are E-bikes Affecting Roads Near You?

E-bikes are a relatively new, hot topic in the transportation world. They also represent a greener vision in what space-conscious urban transit can be. Proponents say that e-bikes can broaden the appeal of cycling to a wider audience. In addition, many private and city-run bike-share programs are racing to roll out electric models. Many advocates have high hopes that e-bikes can push New Yorkers to trade their cars for bikes.

Other American cities are starting to see more e-bike sharing options and catching up to European and Asian countries that have offered e-bikes for years. As such, the city is now implementing a dockless bike program to expand these efforts. The pilot program for dockless bikes will offer both electric and regular bikes. New Yorkers can access the new bikes this month in the Rockaways in Queens, near Fordham University in the Bronx and on the North Shore of Staten Island. Each location will have at least 200 bikes. If the trials are successful, the city may expand the program to other neighborhoods in the city.


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