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Mass. e-bike legislation moving on Beacon Hill

"E-bikes have the potential to bring more people out riding."

Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff
Jana Pickard-Richardson, with her children, Ta, 10, and Cli, 7, in tow, turned onto Glenway Street on her e-bike.

A bill that would regulate electric bikes as bikes instead of mopeds is one step closer to becoming a law. Lawmakers Wednesday were moving legislation on e-bikes, which have electric motors to assist with propulsion. The bill would take the increasingly popular form of transportation out of a legal gray area and would bring Massachusetts in line with 46 other states and Washington, D.C.

The House Committee on Ways and Means advanced a bill that would classify e-bikes into categories based on their designs and top speeds. The Senate included a similar provision in its version of the infrastructure bond bill it passed, which is being reconciled with the House version in closed-door negotiations.


Given the movement on such legislation, advocates are increasingly hopeful that the Legislature will pass some kind of regulatory framework for e-bikes, which in Massachusetts must be registered and are prohibited on bike paths, though bike advocates say the law is largely unenforced. They hope such a bill will advance to Governor Charlie Baker by July 31, the end of the Legislature’s formal session.

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