City council debates bringing e-bikes, e-scooters to New York

E-bikes and e-scooters are becoming popular across the country, but will they come to New York City?

Many New Yorkers are in favor of them, but there are some major safety concerns.

E-bike advocates held a press conference outside City Hall Wednesday before a City Council hearing. Currently, many food delivery workers use the e-bikes, but they are not legal. NYPD tickets can run delivery workers up to $500.

"The only way we're going to advance our transportation options and alternatives is by legalizing the e-bikes and e-scooters," New York City Councilman Rafael Espinal said.

Advocates there said more e-scooters and e-bikes could reduce the number of cars in New York City.

Although there appeared to be a lot of support among committee members at the transportation committee hearing, people have many safety concerns.

New Yorker Tobi Busch signed up to testify. She was hit by a conventional bike several years ago. She said she was terrified e-bikes will create an even greater danger.

"I think there are going to be more accidents. I think there are going to be many more pedestrians hurt badly. I think it's going to be an absolute menace to the city," Busch said.

Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said there have been two local e-scooter fatalities on record.

In her testimony before the committee, Trottenberg said New York State should legalize the e-scooters and e-bikes first.

"E-bikes and e-scooters accelerate and reach top speeds faster than conventional bikes and if legalized they will no doubt increase the growing demand for more dedicated bike lanes," Trottenberg said.

Dockless e-scooter sharing company Lime hopes to come to New York City.

"Platforms overall are very, very safe, but what we want to do is make sure that we're educating everyone on how to use them properly," Lime's East Coast Senior Director Philip Jones said.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.