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Electric Bikes

WNYC News

Electric Bike Ban Roils Restaurant Workers

Thursday, March 13, 2014

It's a relief to some, but delivery workers say old-fashioned pedal power isn't enough.

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Transportation Nation

Electric Bikes Get Rolling in D.C.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

(Martin Di Caro / WAMU)

(Washington, D.C. -- Martin Di Caro, WAMU) While the New York City council is considering a crackdown on electric bikes, and Las Vegas officials are buying them up with federal money, in Washington D.C. it's commuters who are abuzz about them.

Right now it's rare to see electric bikes on the roads around D.C., but Joe Reyes thinks they may not be so rare much longer.

Reyes, the owner of The Green Commuter in Takoma Park, Md., has traveled from one extreme to another. He once worked as a mechanic for a Ferrari racing team working on engines that would achieve fuel efficiency of about 5 miles per gallon. Now he sells a mode of transportation that is as eco-friendly as it gets: bicycles. But Reyes also sells bicycles for non-bicyclists.

"We call it an electric-assist bicycle," says Reyes. "You get 25 percent of your assist from the electric motor, 75 percent of it comes from you. It's kind of an electric human-hybrid, if you will."

An electric bike looks like a regular, sturdy road bike, except for the lithium-ion battery pack on the rear frame.

"If your commute is say eight or 10 miles one way, you get to your office, you just plug it in there and you have plenty of juice to get back home," he says.

As of now Reyes is lucky to sell one electric bike per week, which can cost as much $1,000 to $3,000.

"When we first opened in 2010, we sold between April and December about 12 units of electric bikes," says Reyes. "In 2011 we sold approximately 34 units of electric bikes."

Electric-assist bikes can go up to 20 m.p.h.

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Transportation Nation

NY City Council Bill Would Up Electric Bike Fine

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

(Photo by Flickr user: Miss Havisham's Tea Party)

New legislation in New York City could make it twice as costly to speed on an electronic bike.  City Councilwoman Jessica Lappin will introduce legislation Wednesday that would double fines for e-bike speeders who travel faster that the citywide 15 mile per hour limit. That would increase penalties from $500 to $1,000.

“My office constantly receives complaints about electric delivery bikes speeding down our crowded streets and sidewalks,” Lappin said. “We need higher fines and better enforcement, which should make pedestrians safer in their own neighborhoods.”

A relatively new mode of transport, e-bikes zipped into New York City’s culture about a year ago and have since become ubiquitous.  While many have safety concerns about e-bikes, anyone who eats take-out probably benefits from their speedy service – the electric bikes have become synonymous with hot, fresh, delivery food.  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.

Andrew Rigie, Executive Vice President with the New York City Chapter of the New York State Restaurant Association, said the increased fines would hurt small businesses and their employees.  “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.”  He said the bikes are also more friendly to the environment.

But Councilwoman Lappin said she has tried to engage small businesses in her district.  “I have developed a flyer that we have volunteers and interns take into small businesses and restaurants to talk to them about the rules of the road, with posters in multiple languages,” said Lappin.  She hopes there eventually be a full hearing on her proposal.

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Transportation Nation

TN MOVING STORIES: Purple Line Gets Green Light, Manhattan Gas Stations on the Wane, and Paul McCartney Marries MTA Board Member Nancy Shevell

Monday, October 10, 2011

Top stories on TN:

Accident investigations: what happens during Houston highway shutdowns. (Link)

Montana rolls out a statewide program to crack down on drunk drivers. (Link)

A Manhattan gas station (photo by Kate Hinds)

 

Maryland gets the green light to continue planning for the Purple Line --  a 16-mile light rail line that would link two Metro lines, connect all three MARC commuter rail lines, and link to Amtrak and local bus services. (WAMU)

NY's MTA will run less trains on "minor holidays," which it says will save the agency $200,000 a year. (New York Post)

There are 17 fewer gas stations in Manhattan today than there were two years ago. (Crain's New York)

NY MTA board member Nancy Shevell married Paul McCartney. (ABC News)

Bus ridership in Sioux Falls is up -- and the mayor says it's due, in part, to big city transplants. "They are used to using public transit. It is the wave of the future. We are still a city and state that loves our trucks and cars, but reality is setting in," he said. "Public transportation is going to be a central need for our future." (Sioux Falls Argus Leader)

Los Angeles traffic policy turns some side streets into pedestrian nightmares. (Los Angeles Times)

Chicago Tribune op-ed: absenteeism is the reason your buses are late.

This week in the New York Times Complaint Box: electric delivery bikes.

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Transportation Nation

TN MOVING STORIES: The US DOT Puts Two More Bus Companies Out of Business -- Two Cities, Two Different Views of Electric Bikes

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Yarn-bombed bike rack on Manhattan's Upper West Side (photo by Kate Hinds)

The proliferation of electric bikes on NYC streets has led to tickets -- and confusion (New York Times). Meanwhile, Las Vegas's transportation commission is purchasing them (Las Vegas Sun).

The US Department of Transportation put two bus companies out of business this weekend. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Meanwhile, eight times since October, U.S. bus-safety regulators gave extensions allowing operators to stay on the road after finding problems serious enough to shut them down. (Bloomberg via San Francisco Chronicle)

As New Jersey emerges from the financial downturn, access to transit is driving the office market recovery. (Wall Street Journal)

Can electric vehicles create a sustainable job market -- and would the cars sell as well without a tax subsidy? (NPR)

Sales of full-size pickup trucks have stalled; GM plans to trim production accordingly. (Detroit Free Press)

New York City wants to put cameras on some street sweepers to catch alternate side parking violations. (New York Times)

A New Jersey Assembly panel plans to examine Governor Christie's decision to pull the state from a multistate pact to reduce greenhouse gases. (AP via NJ.com)

In New York, new East River ferry service begins today. (MyFoxNY.com)

Some members of Manhattan's Community Board 8 are not loving the Central Park Conservancy's plan to put in cross-park bike paths. (West Side Spirit)

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Transportation Nation

TN Moving Stories: LAPD Experiments with Electric Bikes, Ray LaHood Wants to Broker Dulles Metrorail Agreement, and Poll Shows Support Stable for NYC Bike Lanes

Friday, May 13, 2011

The LAPD is experimenting with electric bicycles. (Los Angeles Times)

Ray LaHood wants to help resolve differences in the Dulles Airport Metrorail project. (Washington Post)

DC's Metro has given Google Transit access to its data. (Washington Post)

New York City's bike lanes: a new poll says that support for them is stable, even if people think the lanes are unused. (Wall Street Journal)

NJ Senator Robert Menendez talked about oil company tax breaks -- and the senate finance committee hearing on the issue -- on the Brian Lehrer Show. (WNYC/IAFC)

AC Transit will be raising fares, and service cuts may also be coming within a year. (Contra Costa Times)

More on the osprey nest that's foiling DDOT construction from Marketplace.

The New York Post profiles the man who spent his life savings on the Doomsday ads now running in the subway. Bonus fact: he's a former MTA employee.

Who wants to see Estonians simulate bicycle riding on an airport people mover? You do! (video below:)

Follow Transportation Nation on Twitter.

In case you missed it on Transportation Nation:

-- light rail could be pushing west in NJ (link)

-- speed in NYC, and you might see skeletons (link)

-- the world's most dangerous roads (link)

-- a new Brookings report came out, ranking access to transit (link)

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