In February, S2292 was referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee; meanwhile, an identical bill A3359 has been introduced into the NJ State Assembly. These bills aim to regulate low-speed electric bikes and e-scooters in New Jersey. The proposed legislation would require riders of these micromobility vehicles to register their vehicles with the state and carry liability insurance. A coalition of more than 40 organizations and businesses have signed on oppose to the legislation.

The Rally

The Rally on the Hudson River Waterfront in J Owen Grundy Park was attended by dozens of concerned citizens, delivery workers, cyclists, families, and community leaders, and featured impassioned remarks highlighting the negative impacts of S2292. Speakers emphasized the importance of e-bikes and e-scooters as affordable, accessible, and environmentally friendly modes of transportation, particularly for delivery app workers, who, after expenses, often make less than the minimum wage.

I had the honor to speak at the event and made the following points:

  • Current Situation: New Jersey is the only state where Class 3 bicycles are considered motorized vehicles, requiring licenses, insurance, and registration. Currently, there is no clear process to register e-bikes. I noted that a friend of mine told me that she made 5 attempts to register her e-bike at 5 different MVC locations.

  • Potential Issues:

    • Unwarranted Police Stops: The proposed legislation could lead to more police stops, disproportionately affecting BIPOC riders.
    • Penalties for Out-of-State Bicyclists: Visitors bringing e-bikes to resort communities along the Jersey Shore may face penalties, which in turn could negatively impact the tourism industry and local businesses.
    • Burden on Working Cyclists: Food couriers and delivery workers using e-bikes could face additional costs.
    • Impact on Bike Share Programs: Smaller communities may struggle to register vehicles, limiting access to sustainable transportation options.
    • Slowing E-Bike Adoption: New Jersey’s legislation contrasts with other states offering e-bike incentives.
    • Climate Goals: Restricting e-bike use conflicts with New Jersey’s climate goals
  • Call to Action: I called on lawmakers to consider broader implications of this bad bill and instead create equitable laws that promote sustainability and inclusivity.

Press Coverage

Letter to the Bill Sponsors

In addition to attending the rally, a letter of opposition was sent to the Bill’s sponsors.

S2292_A3359 Opposition Sign-On Letter by BCGP on Scribd

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