ACTION ALERT: Contact Your State Senator in Support of E-Bikes

Thanks to Sen. Sal DiDomenico (Middlesex and Suffolk) and Sen. Adam Hinds (Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden), the state legislature could get more people out on electric assist bicycles across Massachusetts!

Two e-bike specific amendments have been added to the Senate Transportation Bond Bill, but they need the help of your state senator. If you'd like to see more people on e-bikes, and sensible statewide regulations for our roads, paths, and trails, please email or call your senator by noon on Thursday July 14th to support amendments #171 and #204 to S2989. The vote on the Bond Bill will be held on the afternoon of July 14th, so your action is needed as soon as possible.

Example email/phone call to your senator (feel free to add why you personally support e-bikes in your comments):

"Please support Amendment #171 'E-Bike Incentive Program' and Amendment #204 'Electric Bicycles' to the Senate Transportation Bond Bill. Amendment #171 will allow more people to purchase electric-assist bicycles and provide equitable access to electric bicycles which are out of reach of many riders due to their cost. Amendment #204 will clarify the definition of electric bicycles so we can sensibly regulate their use on our roads, paths, and trails. E-bikes are a solution to the dual crises we're facing of traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions, are an economical and healthy way to travel, and these amendments will help more people choose to bicycle for everyday use."


If passed, amendment #171 would allocate $10,000,000 for an e-bike rebate program. Similar language has already passed the House, but Sen. Hinds has increased the bond allocation to $10M. This would establish new rebates for e-bikes of up to $500 for general consumers and up to $750 for low- and moderate-income consumers who purchase new and used electric bicycles.

If passed, amendment #204 would define electric bicycles to match the 3-class standard, already defined in federal law, and align Massachusetts more closely with 46 other states throughout the country that separate e-bikes from "motorized bicycles" (ie. mopeds). With these definitions, e-bike riders would have the same rules and responsibilities as conventional bikers. Sen. DiDomenico's amendment leaves regulatory control to local jurisdictions, and requires a public process for setting regulations to allow for regional conversations. One important key is the language clearly specifies speed limits can be set on bike paths, for those concerned around speeds, and local jurisdictions and municipalities would be able to regulate and prohibit certain classes of e-bikes as needed.

Your help is crucial!

Help us get these amendments passed and make electric bicycles more equitable and accessible to riders across the commonwealth, especially low and moderate-income riders, by contacting your local senator in support of amendments #171 and #204 to S2989. Thank you to Sen. Hinds and Sen. DiDomenico for championing these e-bike amendments and to all the legislators who support these important initiatives.

Showing 4 reactions

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  • Galen Mook
    Thanks Carlos for chiming in. We agree that focus should be on accessibility for ALL riders, especially those with disabilities, and have heard very loudly that e-bikes facilitate riding for those with physical limitations such as older adults, those recovering from injuries, and folks who don’t have the stamina to ride longer distances. The bill we’re supporting here is designed to match MA with the federal and consumer standards of classifications established throughout the country. And the wattage is designed to keep the speeds relative to what bicyclists normally ride at top speed which is around 20mph (you may be able to hit 40mph, but won’t ride at that speed consistently, and it’s a rare cyclists who can get that speed not on a downhill during the Tour de France!).

    After years of technological development, we find that most e-bikes are typically ~250W, and by going up to 750W this allows for faster class e-bikes as well as cargo and multiple-person bicycles (like e-tricycles and pedicabs). Anything above the federal and consumer protection standards could be separately regulated by the registrar, and may be considered a separate class such as low speed electric vehicle:

    We’ve found this article helpful to run down the differences in wattage for e-bikes and light-weight electric vehicles.
  • Carlos Coutinho
    I’m disabled. I have Pulmonary Sarcoidosis. Bill # 204 is abelist and I will be contacting again to ask them not to sign this bill. There is no reason to limit e-bike motors to 750 watts, especially if you’re already limiting the speed (I used to get up to 40mph on my Cannondale on a good day so that’s a crock too). What about heavy people? What about people whose only transportation is a bike and they need to use a trailer? Massachusetts doesn’t need more laws and regulations, I remember how terrible mandatory helmet laws were for childhood cycling (now very fat adults) when they were passed. My 750 watt Bafang motor came with a 250 watt sticker in case I wanted to go to Europe. Don’t even get me started on “unlawfully” modifying the bikes, hot rodding is an American tradition. Just like unregistered dirt bikes on public roads these new regulations will only effect law abiding citizens, keep the disabled AWAY from cycling and anyone who ignores the laws will get a slap on the wrist. This is NOT the time to put up huge barriers to modern cycling!
  • Alan Nogee
    Why do you support allowing communities to prohibit Class 3 bikes from bike paths? One community can make it impossible for a Class 3 bike to commute on a bike path, forcing us to use more dangerous street routes?
  • Galen Mook