Riders Rally For Bill Allowing EBikes On Bike Paths

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BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Bikers rallied at the State House Wednesday in support of a bill that could soon die without action from lawmakers.

The bill allows for electric bikes, commonly referred to as EBikes, to be driven in bike lanes, something that is not allowed because under current state law, EBikes are considered to be Mopeds. Since they are considered mopeds, it means riders are required to have a license to ride them and they must be driven on the road.

The rally called for lawmakers to take action on the bill because if they don't, the bill will die at the end of the current session this week, leaving the bikes in legal limbo. State Rep. Steven Owens is a co-sponsor of the bill, and he said at the rally Wednesday that EBikes are common and help eliminate car trips in cities.

"An EBike really activates a lot of trips that otherwise would require a car for most people," Rep. Owens said.

EBikes have rechargeable electric motors that can be activated by the rider to get up hills or increase speed. The bikes are often used by senior citizens, disabled people, and people towing children. One disabled rider at the rally told WBZ's Karyn Regal EBikes allow her to travel easier, and can even carry her crutches.

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"With an EBike, I can actually ride a bike and that means that I can get from one address to another when I want," she said.

EBikes are considered bikes in 46 U.S. states.

WBZ's Karyn Regal (@karynregal) reports.

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