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New Regulations for E-Bikes in NYC: What You Need to Know

Last Updated on November 8, 2023 by SPN Editor

Electric bikes have become a popular and convenient mode of transportation in the bustling streets of New York City. Not only are they efficient and practical, but they also contribute to a more eco-friendly urban environment. The New York City Department of Transportation has outlined specific regulations regarding the use of e-bikes in NYC. According to their guidelines, e-bikes in NYC are permitted on streets and bike lanes intended for motor vehicles, as long as the speed limits do not exceed 30 mph, unless otherwise noted. This means that e-bikes in NYC can confidently navigate the city’s roads and bike lanes without violating any regulations.

Finding the Perfect E-Bikes in NYC

If you’re looking for an electric bike in New York City, there are several fantastic options to explore. Here are some of the best e-bike stores and services in the city:

  1. Greenpath Electric Bikes: Located in Brooklyn, Greenpath Electric Bikes offers a diverse selection of electric bicycles. Whether you’re looking for a stylish commuter e-bike or a robust off-road option, they have you covered. What’s more, they provide free home delivery and offer free shipping on all electric bike purchases, making the buying process even more convenient.
  2. Citi Bike: For those who prefer a more flexible approach, Citi Bike, New York City’s popular bike-sharing system, offers pedal-assist e-bikes. These e-bikes in NYC can be rented through their user-friendly app, allowing you to pick up and drop off a bike conveniently at various locations throughout the city.
  3. Priority Bicycles: Priority Bicycles is known for its low-maintenance, rust-free belt-drive bicycles. They offer e-bikes that excel in quality and affordability. With a 30-day no-questions-asked return policy and customer support available seven days a week, Priority Bicycles ensures you have a hassle-free experience.
  4. Fancy Apple Bike & Scooter Rentals: If you’re looking to explore the picturesque Central Park or simply want to rent a high-quality e-bike, Fancy Apple is your go-to option. As one of the top Central Park tours and bike rentals companies in NYC, they pride themselves on delivering top-notch services to provide you with the best impression of the glorious New York City.

Good news for Citi Bike in the New York City

Citi Bike, New York City’s shared bicycle program, is set to double the number of electric bikes in its fleet, currently standing at 10,000. Electric Citi Bikes have found favor among New Yorkers for offering an easier and less strenuous cycling experience.

However, this expansion of electric bikes does come with a minor trade-off, as their speed limit will be reduced from the current 20 mph to 18 mph. The city’s Department of Transportation will also launch a public awareness campaign to educate riders on safe e-bike operation.

While Citi Bike’s growth is celebrated as a transit phenomenon, not everyone is thrilled with the lack of program expansion within the city. Despite the success of the program, there has been criticism over the limited expansion of its footprint.

Bad news for Revel, E-Bikes Company

However, there is a piece of bad news from major providers. Revel, known for its iconic blue electric mopeds, is saying goodbye to these zippy commuter machines in favor of cars.

Revel has been on a journey since its early days of prototype testing in 2018, gaining recognition for its seated electric scooters or mopeds available for rent by the minute. These scooters could reach speeds of up to 30 mph and were celebrated for their efficiency, allowing riders to navigate city traffic and enjoy speeds higher than e-bikes without the added congestion or energy consumption of larger vehicles.

But Revel’s journey has seen its ups and downs, with the company gradually reducing the scale of its scooter operations. From a peak of over 6,000 electric scooters across the US, Revel now operates under 3,000 scooters and is only active in New York City and San Francisco, having previously exited Washington DC and Miami.

Now, Revel is bidding farewell to its scooter operations in New York and California, opting to focus on ridesharing services and electric car charging stations, which have become a more significant part of its revenue.

The final day of service will be on November 18, and Revel plans to recycle the decommissioned mopeds.

New Rules for E-Bikes in NYC

The new rules for e-bikes in NYC allow e-bikes on the city’s bike lanes and streets as long as they don’t exceed 20 mph (25 mph for Class 3 e-bikes) and the rider is at least 16 years old. Class 1 and 2 e-bike riders are strongly encouraged to wear helmets, while Class 3 e-bike riders are legally required to wear one.

To determine whether your e-bike meets these requirements, you must identify its class, which depends on its maximum speed and method of propulsion. The classes are as follows:

  • Class 1: Pedal-assist e-bikes with a maximum speed of 20 mph.
  • Class 2: E-bikes with a maximum speed of 20 mph and a throttle.
  • Class 3: E-bikes with a maximum speed of 28 mph and a throttle.
E-Bike ClassMaximum SpeedMethod of PropulsionHelmet Required
120 mphPedal-assistRequired for 16-17 year olds and working cyclists
220 mphThrottleRequired by law
328 mphThrottleRequired by law

E-bikes in NYC must also carry a label or sticker displaying their class, top-assisted speed, and maximum electric motor wattage. Additionally, they must have a horn or bell and lights and reflectors for night riding. Class 1 and 2 e-bikes can only be ridden on roads with speed limits of 30 mph or less, and e-bikes cannot be ridden on sidewalks.

Penalty for riding e-bikes on a Sidewalk

The penalty for riding e-bikes on a sidewalk in New York City has been lowered to $250. E-bikes will only be confiscated if operated in a manner that endangers safety or property. Riding in bike lanes and streets remains legal, as long as the speed limits and age requirements are met.