Legislature’s Vote For E-Scooters Makes Ithaca Pilot Program More Likely

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ITHACA, NY (WSKG) – Electric-assisted bicycles and scooters are now legal on New York streets. As the session ended, the New York state legislature passed a bill to legalize the vehicles on Thursday.

The bill now awaits the governor’s signature.

 Assuming that happens, Ithaca Council member Seph Murtagh says it will remove one of the obstacles to an e-scooter pilot program in Ithaca. The city’s Common Council recently delayed a pilot program for e-scooters.

“That clears one big hurdle,” he said. “But it would still have to go back to Common Council and we would still have to vote on it a final time for the pilot to move forward.”

AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

A man rides a motorized scooter as he approaches Market Street in San Francisco, Tuesday, April 17, 2018.  (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

The e-scooters and bicycles are part of a growing micro-mobility industry that allows commuters to make short-term rentals of bicycles or scooters.

Murtagh said he and other members of the Ithaca council still have other concerns.

“People riding on sidewalks,” he said, “and how are they going to mix with cars in the street and people riding on hills and using alcohol with such a young population in the city.”

He said it’s now up to the mayor, the Ithaca’s police and the city attorney to negotiate an agreement with an e-scooter company.  Only then can the Council reconsider the pilot program.