A pair of Queens legislators are claiming victory in their quest to allow legalized electric bikes and scooters in New York State, with Gov. Cuomo on Tuesday saying he will include language doing so in his forthcoming budget proposal.
Cuomo did not go into detail, but Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D-Fresh Meaadows) and state Sen. Jessica Ramos (D-East Elmhurst), whose bill to allow municipal governance of the vehicles was vetoed by Cuomo in December, were hailing the decision this week.
“For the past year I have worked with a broad coalition of advocates to pass legislation that would protect immigrant workers, provide a sustainable alternative mode of transportation, and bring viable micromobility options to transit starved neighborhoods across the state,” Rozic said in a statement released by her office. “I am pleased that following several discussions with advocates and the Governor’s office, we have a budget proposal paving the way for the long-awaited legalization of electric bicycles and scooters.”
Rozic said the goal is to provide “overdue clarity” in the law to deliver economic justice for delivery workers while introducing new transit options that could improve connectivity to existing ones.
“This agreement honors the original intent and addresses safety concerns that have been raised over the past several months,” she said.
Helmets would be required for 16-, 17- and 18-year-olds operating electric scooters and so-called class three electric bikes, which have a maximum speed of 25 mph under the proposal, Rozic said. DWI penalties would only be enforced in the event a rider is involved in a collision with something or someone.
Ramos, in a statement from her office, called it a victory for people such as food delivery workers who prefer the now-banned vehicles because of their superior speed performance.
“Although the governor had the opportunity to legalize e-bikes and e-scooters much earlier, his agreement with the advocates is a clear win for workers across New York and for the future of sustainable mobility,” she said.