Janet Babin, Host, WNYC News
Janet Babin is a host and reporter at WNYC.
New legislation set to be introduced Wednesday could make it twice as costly to speed on an electronic bike in New York City.
City Councilwoman Jessica Lappin is set to introduce legislation the bill that would double fines for e-bike speeders who travel faster than the citywide 15 mph limit -- increasing penalties from $500 to $1,000.
“My office constantly receives complaints about electric delivery bikes speeding down our crowded streets and sidewalks,” said Lappin, who represents the Upper East Side. “We need higher fines and better enforcement, which should make pedestrians safer in their own neighborhoods.”
The electric bikes, a relatively new form of transportation in the city, have become synonymous with delivery services. And many e-bike owners are commercial delivery cyclists that depend on tips for a majority of their income. The more deliveries they make, the more money they earn.
“E-bikes allow more deliveries to be conducted in a quicker amount of time, which means the business can make more money, and the delivery cyclists can make more in tips,” said Andrew Rigie, executive vice president of the city’s chapter of the New York State Restaurant Association.
Rigie is opposed to increasing fines and say they will hurt small businesses.
Lappin said she has distributed the so-called rules of the road in multiple languages to businesses in her district to make sure everyone is on the same page.