DOT Announces New Rules to Allow E-Cargo Bikes as More Sustainable Delivery Option

“Cargi B,” a DOT pedal-assist bike. Image Credit NYC DOT.

On March 27, 2024, the New York City Department of Transportation announced that e-cargo bikes are now authorized for use on city streets and established safety standards through new agency rules. The e-cargo bikes will provide a more sustainable and safer option for deliveries by helping reduce the number of large delivery trucks needed citywide. 

The rule change adds “pedal-assist bicycle” to the legal definition of “bicycle” and defines “commercial bicycle” as a bicycle used to transport commercial goods. The pedal-assist feature activates a small motor only when users are pedaling. The feature is also found on Citi Bike pedal-assist models. 

Pedal-assisted electric cargo bikes may be up to 48 inches wide, up to 84 inches tall, and up to 16 feet long (including the bike and trailer combination) and have up to four wheels. The speed limit for these bikes will be 15 miles per hour. The e-cargo bikes cannot be parked or left unattended on a sidewalk for any reason. New curb regulations establish “commercial bicycle loading only” zones for packages to be unloaded.

The Department of Transportation had previously launched a Commercial Cargo Bike pilot program in 2019. In 2022, cargo bikes made over 130,000 trips, delivered over five million packages, and resulted in the reduction of over 650,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions. 

To read the full finalized rules, click here

Mayor Eric Adams stated, “Building a more sustainable city means reimagining deliveries in New York City. For too long, large trucks have been the only option, bringing congestion and pollution with them. Low- and no-emission cargo bikes are one of the ways that we’re changing that paradigm, so we can get what we want, when we want it, without poisoning our air or clogging our streets. From these new rules, to using our rivers more for deliveries through our Blue Highways initiative, to establishing microdelivery hubs, to the coming creation of a new Department of Sustainable Deliveries, we’re making it easier and cleaner for New Yorkers to get their goods and services.”

DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez stated, “Achieving a safer and greener transportation future includes reducing the number of large, high-polluting trucks on our streets. Authorizing these new delivery options will better protect our environment and all road users.”

By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the Editor of CityLand and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2018.)



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