Monday: Rally With Delivery Workers for Sensible E-Bike Policies From City Hall

The city's proposed rule changes legalizing pedal-assist electric bikes on city streets won't protect delivery workers from fines and seizures.

Delivery workers protesting the mayor's crackdown in December. Photo: David Meyer
Delivery workers protesting the mayor's crackdown in December. Photo: David Meyer

Mayor de Blasio’s police crackdown on electric bike delivery workers is in its fifth month, and City Hall shows no signs of discontinuing its policy of wringing tickets out of that segment of the city’s immigrant workforce.

DOT is weighing changes to city rules that would legalize pedal-assist e-bikes. But most delivery cyclists use “combination bikes,” which can be operated by pedal-assist or throttle, with the same top speed. Even with the adjustments the de Blasio administration is considering — which were developed without input from working cyclists — e-bike delivery workers will continue to be punished for doing their jobs.

On Monday, workers will rally outside City Hall to demand Mayor de Blasio enact sensible e-bike policies. The rally is organized by the Justice Delivered Coalition, which consists of the Asian American Federation, Make the Road, Transportation Alternatives, and the Biking Public Project. The groups are calling on the city to end the e-bike crackdown and provide funding and assistance for delivery workers to convert their bikes to pedal-assist.

De Blasio’s crackdown has saddled workers with thousands of dollars in fines and lost wages. The city has never provided data demonstrating that e-bike riders post a serious public safety threat.

Monday’s rally starts at 10 a.m. on the City Hall steps. If you can’t make it, the city is accepting comments on the proposed rule changes online.

  • Elizabeth F

    > But most delivery cyclists use “combination bikes,” which can be operated by pedal-assist or throttle, with the same top speed

    Easy solution… disable the throttle with a dab of 5-minute epoxy.

  • macartney

    The proposed rules would say that’s still illegal. Class 1 bikes are only legal with manufactured applied stickers. Hence not so easy and I hope everyone comes out to the rally and signs the petition.

  • Elizabeth F

    I noticed that problem with the proposed rules as well. But take note:

    1. The rule is a rule, not a law. Rules can be made by bureaucrats, but laws can only be passed by elected officials. The rule must comply with and cannot change existing laws. Class 1 e-bikes, with our without sticker, are legal under existing laws. They will remain legal no matter what rule DOT passes.

    2. The DOT proposed rule is open to comments. I don’t think they intend to make obsolete the LEGAL e-bikes currently on the road, for lack of an OEM sticker. So go to their website and point this out. I already did. If they’re boneheaded and don’t fix the wording after multiple people have commented on the website and at the hearing, THEN is the time to rally.

    3. In contrast to the proposed NYC rule, The proposed NYS law (not rule) would also require stickers, but doesn’t say who has to apply it. If and when the NYS law is passed, I will make a sticker and tape it to my e-bike. Even if the NYS rule is not fixed, I would recommend the same.

  • oldladystyle

    There is no crackdown. They ticket them like they ticket jaywalkers which is never. This is just a de blasio photo op

  • Elizabeth F

    That is simply false. NYPD has given out thousands of e-bike tickets over the past year. Many delivery workers have been ticketed multiple times.

  • manny

    I think these bikes are bad because on 5th avenue 22 and 23rd streets in Brooklyn ny 11215 these bikes are delivering food and riding on the sidewalks. why don’t they stop breaking the laws cause they are hurting people. these bikes go thru the lights.

  • manny

    these bike are a immigrants don’t understand the English language, doing harm people riding these bike on sidewalks. motorized also on sidewalks from the Chinese, indian, Mexican restaurants.

  • Vooch
  • Ken Dodd

    “Don’t understand the English language” — OH the irony….