New York City authorizes use of e-cargo bikes on city streets

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New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) recently authorized the use of e-cargo bikes on city streets and established safety standards for their use.

Authorization allows for the use of pedal-assist electric-cargo bicycles up to 48 inches wide and with up to four wheels. E-cargo bikes have a speed limit of 15 miles per hour.

The finalized rules expand the legal definition of “bicycle” to include “pedal-assist bicycle” and define a “commercial bicycle” as a bicycle used to transport commercial goods.

The rules also establish curb regulations to allow dedicated space for cargo bikes to load and unload goods at the curb.

“The pandemic fundamentally changed the way we shop; now, 80 percent of us get at least one package delivered a week,” Meera Joshi, New York City deputy mayor for operations, said. “We are accommodating this change in consumer culture ‒ and preparing for congestion pricing ‒ by encouraging environmental package delivery, away from cars and trucks. This is the way of the future along with leveraging our waterways, and creating delivery hubs for freight to go directly onto bikes. With these innovations, New York City will be the greenest city in the nation.”

The agency will provide e-cargo bike operators with safety training and educational materials.