Press Releases

Press Release #18-038
Thursday, June 28, 2018
Contact: Scott Gastel (212) 839-4850

Bike News Alert: DOT Announces Adoption of Final Rule Governing Pedal-Assist Bicycles

City Record published new rule today that clarifies legality of pedal-assist bicycles; Rule takes effect on Saturday, July 28, making clear that throttle-controlled e-bikes continue to remain illegal

The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) announced that pursuant to the provisions of the City Administrative Procedure Act (CAPA), its new rule clarifying the legality of pedal-assist bicycles had been adopted – and published today in the City Record (Download rule here). The new rule establishes that pedal-assist bicycles are permissible, while throttle-controlled e-bikes continue to be illegal to operate on City streets under State and city law. Under CAPA, the new rule will officially take effect after a 30-day window -- on Saturday, July 28.

“Mayor de Blasio announced in April that New York City was taking the important step of making pedal-assist bicycles clearly legal,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “We appreciate the feedback we received from New Yorkers through the rule-making process these last few months – including from those looking to find solutions for delivery workers who often ride throttle e-bikes. For now, we believe that this new rule will help us join other world cities opening the door to an increasingly popular, safe and low-emission mode of travel that helps cyclists climb hills and travel longer distances. In fact, pedal-assist bikes will help us to meet challenges on the horizon like the L train tunnel closure -- as we announced only yesterday that Citi Bike will introduce a pedal-assist “Shuttle Service” over the Williamsburg Bridge next year to move even more New Yorkers on two wheels.”

As part of its rule-making process, DOT heard from many stakeholders about establishing a legal framework for the conversion of throttle-controlled e-bikes to legal pedal-assist bicycles. In that vein, DOT is immediately starting a second round of outreach to delivery workers, businesses and manufacturers, among others, to establish such a framework. As that dialogue continues, the new rules may be amended as necessary.