New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has ruled that electric scooters and bikes will stay illegal in the state of New York, because of not having a helmet requirement, as well as other safety concerns. The governor's veto means that there will be a delay of shared mobility services including Lime and Bird.

The bill was passed by the New York Senate overwhelmingly by a 56-6 margin, and the state Assembly approved it 137-4. However, lawmakers waited to deliver the bill to Cuomo until this week, because they believed he would attempt to shoot down the proposal. Cuomo had originally voiced support for legalizing electric bikes and scooters but has rescinded his support after being criticized by one of its co-sponsors.

Veto means food delivery workers continue to face fines and confiscations

The bill would have legalized both bikes and scooters, but would also give cities control over the mobility sharing services. Cities would use permits to control the rise of these sharing services, which would keep them from being inundated like other cities have around the world. The legislation would have also helped to regulate e-scooters and e-bikes. Bill sponsors are willing to negotiate but Gov. Cuomo did not give them the time of day as he continues to face tensions with NY State Senator Jessica Ramos.

The bill would have also helped food delivery workers in New York City, many of whom use e-bikes to get around the city, even with them being illegal.

Now, these workers will still be subjected to $500 fines and confiscations. New York State Assemblywoman Nily Rozic criticized Cuomo's veto, saying it was a missed opportunity to deliver economic justice for workers. City council members are calling for NYPD to end enforcement, which they claim targets immigrant food delivery workers.

Mobility companies Lime and Bird critical of Gov. Cuomo's veto

Lime and Bird have criticized the decision and veto by Gov. Cuomo and called it disappointing, but still are hopeful he will work to improve mobility for everyone in New York. Lime's Phil Jones has said that he's hopeful Cuomo will turn New York into a leader for alternative transportation.

Cities around the world have begun to embrace e-scooters as an inexpensive transit option for those in transit deserts. Bird released a statement thanking those from the state legislature for their extreme support, as well as those from the environmental community. The bill would have reversed the city's longstanding ban against them. The legislation would also have banned e-bikes from the Hudson River area, as well as e-scooters from Manhattan. Now we must wait and see how this issue will play out.

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