Gov. Cuomo: Sign the E-Bike Bill Now!
Winter is coming and more people are ordering food — so why are the hard-working people delivering it forced to live in fear of losing their bikes?
Delivery workers and their allies rallied on Friday to once again demand that Gov. Cuomo sign a bill legalizing e-bikes so that hard-working food deliverers aren’t continually harassed and arrested by the NYPD.
On hand was De Quan Lu, president of the Chinese Mutual Support Labor Union, who spoke eloquently of how workers start their long workdays in fear of having their bike seized by the police simply for doing a job that more and more New Yorkers — including those at Gracie Mansion and 1 Police Plaza — seem to want them to do: deliver food to them.
Watch the video below (with a rough translation):
Also on hand was retired delivery worker Jinhua Li, who told Streetsblog his grueling story earlier this year.
Supporters of the bill, including Transportation Alternatives, Council Member Carlos Menchaca, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, the NY League of Conservation Voters, the Biking Public Project and the NY Pedicab Alliance, remain perplexed why the governor has not yet signed it, even though it passed earlier this year with overwhelming bipartisan support.
Several speakers pointed out the hypocrisy that state law criminalizes e-bike-using delivery workers yet the city announced this week that it would work with major corporations such as Amazon and UPS to expand their use of electric cargo bikes for deliveries.
“The city treats corporations as people, but it should treat workers as actual people,” said Helen Ho of the Biking Public Project.
She also pointed out that the arrival of colder weather typically leads to more people ordering food rather than getting it for themselves, which requires more workers to handle the demand — which will likely lead to more workers being ticketed or having their bikes confiscated by the NYPD.
Earlier optimism has faded that the governor will sign the bill before its passage expires on Dec. 31. If he does not sign it, it would have to be re-passed next year. The governor’s office has only said he has some issues with the bill.