E-bikes have enormous potential to get more people on bikes and out of cars. However, they currently exist in a legal gray area in Massachusetts; we’re one of only 4 states with “problematic” legislation currently on the books, according to People for Bikes.
Tomorrow, lawmakers are holding a hearing about legislation we support that would modernize e-bike regulations, allowing for greater adoption and increased safety. Passing this legislation is a critical step to getting more people on bikes across the state!
Use the form below to email your representatives and the committee chairs holding this hearing, and tell them to advance smarter e-bike legislation.
E-bikes make biking more accessible. They make it easier to carry cargo or children, and make long distances suddenly bikeable—including commutes. They can also unlock more potential in bike sharing, attracting new riders who may be uninterested or unable to use fully pedal-powered bikes, and increasing systemwide equity by providing easier access to/from more communities.
“An act relative to electric bicycles” (House Bill H3457, Senate bill S.2309) would bring Mass. in line with a majority of other states in standardizing the classification of e-bikes to differentiate between low-speed and higher speed e-bikes. (MassBike has a thorough explainer here.) Without this change, there will remain legal ambiguity about regulating what exactly an e-bike is, how fast they can go, and where they can be ridden. Critically, without this change e-bikes cannot be added to the BlueBikes fleet.
Another bill before lawmakers this year would provide rebates of up to $750 for e-bike purchases. Though this bill is not part of Thursday’s hearing (it had a hearing over the summer) now is a good time to remind representatives to move it forward as another way to get more people on bikes.
Want smart e-bike legislation, and more people on bikes? Then write to your representatives today! Thursday’s hearing is only a starting point, so you can still email your reps after this week. What matters most is that lawmakers be inundated with messages about the importance of this e-bike legislation!Click here to send an email to your legislators!
*E-bikes are one of several issues the Joint Committee on Transportation will discuss Thursday. The BCU and Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition will be speaking in support of several other bills; we want YOU to focus your message to legislators on e-bikes so they hear overwhelming support and take action. Many of you have already spoken up / contacted elected officials about elements of An Act to Reduce Traffic Fatalities and other issues being taken up at the hearing.