PeopleForBikes has successfully worked with the United States Department of the Interior to clarify rules on electric bicycles on public lands.
On Friday, Oct. 2, the Department of the Interior released final rules for electric bicycle use on public lands. This new regulation more clearly defines electric bicycles and gives local land managers the authority to permit their use on non-motorized trails.
The new rule applies to the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service and Bureau of Reclamation.
“As ebikes become more popular both on and off NPS-managed lands, the NPS recognized the need to address this emerging form of recreation and active transportation in its regulations,” the NPS stated Friday. “The intent of this action is to address an emerging technology in a manner that accommodates visitors and increases opportunities for the public to recreate within and travel through the National Park System, while at the same time protecting the resources and values that draw millions of visitors each year.”
Generally speaking, these rules mean that:
• Electric bicycles are no longer defined as motor vehicles or off-road vehicles, but are properly defined within three classes.
• Electric bicycle riders have similar rights, privileges and duties as traditional bicycle riders.
• Local land managers can authorize some or all classes of electric bicycles on roads, paths and trails where bicycles are allowed.
Local land managers maintain significant control, in partnership with the public, to make access decisions.
FAQs and links to the individual agency regulations are posted on PeopleForBikes.org.