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.