The fate of legal electric bikes and electric scooters in New York state is still up in the air, without any commitment from Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign the legislation.
"We are hopeful that, with three weeks until the end of the year, there will be movement and that we'll see this bill become law," said Nily Rozic, a Democrat who represents parts of Queens in the state Assembly.
The legislation would do two things:
Legalize e-scooters, which private companies have been pushing in an effort to cash in on sharing programs.
Legalize e-bikes, a move which would immediately affect many New Yorkers.
Thousands of food delivery workers already rely on e-bikes to make deliveries, sometimes over multi-hour shifts. Advocates say those workers are often new immigrants who don't have a lot of other employment options.
"They have to rush through the day to make on average 50 deliveries a day to be able to make a living. Without support from e-bikes, imagine riding a regular bike on a New York street for 10 hours," said Jiang Wang, an advocate for delivery workers. "And most of them came to this country in their late 40s and 50s and they don't speak English, and they use their bodies to make a living."
The well-funded e-scooter companies have hired lobbyists to push their case. However, the delivery workers don't have a very strong voice in Albany.
Cuomo has already expressed reservations about safety, including the fact that the bill in its current form has no helmet requirement for riders.
"We believe that from an environmental standpoint, from a micro-mobility standpoint, this will help people get around the city a lot faster, quicker, and better," Rozic said.
Supporters say legalizing e-bikes will result in riders not having to worry about getting a summons, especially if they are making deliveries.
And if the legislation is signed, all e-bikes and e-scooters will then be subject to regulation. Critics say city sidewalks are already crowded enough.