[Image via Facebook]
Today, Citi Bike officials debuted a new fleet (200 to start) of pedal-assist electric bicycles.
Here's more about them via the Citi Bike website:
With speeds up to 18 mph, these custom pedal-assist bikes give you the power to tackle bridges, chop your commute in half and experience more neighborhoods in less time. Just start pedaling and the power kicks in.
Introducing the new Citi Bike electric bike!⚡️With a motor to turbo charge your ride, our new pedal-assist bicycle is the best way to get around NYC—without breaking a sweat. Press the power button on the battery to activate and just start pedaling! Check out our insta story for everything you need to know.☝🏼#citibike⚡️
Back in April, Mayor de Blasio backed off from cracking down on all e-bikes, which had drawn safety complaints from some residents.
E-bikes have been technically forbidden since, though scofflaws are legion. But on [April 3], de Blasio reversed, instructing his Department of Transportation to loosen its ban and recognize “pedal assist” bikes — or bikes that use a rechargeable battery to boost their speeds — as a legal means of getting around the city. Any e-bikes with a motor capable of pushing its speed above 20 miles per hour, however, will remain effectively banned. “With new and clear guidelines, cyclists, delivery workers and businesses alike will now understand exactly what devices are allowed,” the mayor said in a statement.
Transit advocates have pointed out that e-bikes are an increasingly popular mode of transportation in cities worldwide, including Paris, Madrid and Lisbon.
As Streetsblog noted, the city is maintaining the ban on the cheaper, throttle-controlled e-bikes that most delivery workers use.