Free to Roam the Road: According to law, any pedal-driven e-bike with a max speed of 20 mph can use any of the state's bike lanes, bike paths, bike trails or off-street bikeways.
Bicycle or Motorcycle? It Depends: In many cities, electric bicycles are considered bicycles—not motorized vehicles. In 29 states and provinces, it’s legal to ride e-bikes on bike paths; in 27 states and provinces, however, you’ll need a license to ride. Where e-bikes are classified as motorcycles, riding on bike paths is illegal. (Seem confusing? People for Bikes has some great online resources to help you familiarize yourself with the rules of the road in your state, like a link to Portland State University’s e-Bike Laws by State and Province.)
Yes, There Are Age Limits: According to Portland State University’s TREC Transportation Insight for Vibrant communities, as of December 2015, at least 40 US states and Canadian provinces had a minimum operator age for e-bikes, typically 14 or 16 years of age. In Alberta, 12 year olds can operate an e-bike, but in Quebec, you must be 18.
They're Entering the Public Domain: There’s a good change that e-bikes are coming soon to a city bikeshare program near you, especially if you live in California. The Golden State’s goal to get 1.5 million zero-emissions vehicles on the road by 2025 has opened up the funding pot, inviting electric bike share providers to apply.
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