The transportation sector is the largest source of climate pollution in New York, representing 34 percent of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. Emissions from tailpipes are also responsible for smog, soot, and other toxics that contribute to adverse health outcomes, particularly in children and those suffering from chronic illness. New York’s greenhouse gas reduction targets necessitate a transition from vehicles powered by internal combustion engines to a transportation system powered by electricity.
Local governments are vital in achieving this goal and well positioned to lead by example to help propel New York’s transition to a clean transportation future. Bicycles with electric assist and electric scooters represent zero-emission mobility alternatives to automobiles, especially in congested urban settings. This legislation allows municipalities enact local laws to regulate the use of these transportation options and to develop shared bicycle with electric assist and electric scooter systems. These programs can be designed to complement and enhance public transit commuting options that in turn will help reduce the number of polluting vehicles clogging the roadways.
This bill amends the vehicle and traffic law to authorize the operation of bicycles with electric assist and electric scooters. The bill allows municipalities to enact local laws regulating the operation of electric bicycles and scooters.