If you’re looking to score big points by giving your child an electric scooter, be aware that California state law requires a driver’s license to operate an e-scooter. This means children younger than 16 cannot legally ride one. More:
Helmets are mandatory for electric scooter riders under the age of 18.
E-scooters cannot be ridden on sidewalks or multi-use trails.
The speed limit for scooters in bike lanes is 15 mph.
Riding tandem, with a buddy, is not allowed.
E-scooter riders must follow all the same rules of the road as drivers.
WhatAbout Getting an E-Bike for My Child?
For now, no law prohibits minors from riding Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes (those with maximum assist speeds of 20 mph). To operate a Class 3 e-bike, which can provide assisted speeds of up to 28 mph, riders must be at least 16 years of age, although a driver’s license is not required. Parents are advised to assess their child’s cycling skills and to consider their levels of experience and maturity before purchasing them an e-bike. More:
Children under the age of 18 are required to wear a bike helmet on any type of bike/e-bike, scooter, skateboard, or roller skates. (Adults are also legally required to wear a helmet on Class 3 bikes.)
In most cases, riding any type of bike on sidewalks (including e-bikes) is less safe than riding in the bike lane. Sidewalk riding is not permitted in most places.
The speed limit on multi-use trails for all bikes is 15 mph.
Parents: Be aware that many Class 2 e-bikes can be easily modified after purchase to go faster than 20 mph, allowing tech-savvy kids to travel at speeds unsafe for their level of experience.
E-bikes are heavier and harder to maneuver than traditional bicycles; it takes longer to stop them at higher speeds.
If you plan to get your child an e-bike or e-scooter, a parent (or experienced adult cyclist) is advised to ride with them to teach and demonstrate the rules of the road and safe riding techniques. If your young rider cannot maintain control, rides unpredictably, or has trouble handling their new wheels in various types of conditions, it may be too soon for them to graduate from their traditional, non-motorized bike or scooter.
If you’re considering making the switch to driving electric, Drive Clean Bay Area hosts a series of virtual events to help you find the right electric vehicle for your budget and lifestyle. These events are online, free, and open to the public.
Click any link below to see upcoming events in that series of webinars:
E-Bike Rebate: If you purchase an e-bike or have an e-bike conversion kit professionally installed, be sure to apply for a rebate from 511 Contra Costa. Rebates of up to $300 are available while supplies last. Learn more at 511cc.org/rebate.
With a much lower price tag than an electric vehicle (EV), the e-bike is a cost-effective way to go electric, save money, and help improve air quality:
“E-bikes can offer a cheaper alternative to car travel… [and] can be useful tools for reducing CO2 emissions, urban noise, and inner city traffic. Lastly, e-bikes encourage users to cycle farther and more often than conventional bicycles.”
If you’re interested in buying an e-bike, 511 Contra Costa wants to help. We’re currently offering cash rebates of up to $300 on the purchase of a new e-bike. What brand of e-bike you buy and where you buy it is up to you, just be sure to save the receipt so you can apply for your rebate.
California’s 12-cent gas tax increase went into effect this month, and you’ll soon see the impact at gas stations throughout the state. We have a couple of ways for you to beat the tax hike: Share the Ride – Whether you call it ridesharing or carpooling, it’s the same thing – sharing a ride and splitting the cost. Now that most people have smartphones, apps make it possible to carpool to work with just a little advance notice. The first step: visit our Carpooling Page. We’ll walk you through your options (some app-based, some not) and even tell you how carpooling might qualify you for a $25 incentive.
If you commute by driving to BART, there’s an additional perk for you: Scoop carpools are guaranteed a parking spotat a number of Contra Costa BART stations when they arrive before 10am. No need to get up super-early to get a space or roll the dice on a spot being available when you arrive – use Scoop to find a passenger for that empty seat & parking is yours! Plus, parking is free. Get an Electric Vehicle – If you’re not ready to commute without driving, leasing or purchasing an electric vehicle not only lets you avoid paying the gas tax, but vehicles which are 100% electric get toll-free access to the Express Lanes. Electric vehicles are also allowed in the HOV lanes during carpool hours, even if it’s a solo commute.
For more information on the benefits of driving an electric vehicle, visit our Electric Vehicle Incentive Programs page.
This Wednesday, you’re invited to Richmond City Hall to give the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) feedback on programs to increase the use of electric vehicles (EVs). Click image to enlarge
California’s electric utilities, including PG&E, have proposed several programs to speed up the adoption of electric vehicles as part of an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. At the meeting, CPUC Commissioner Carla Peterman and staff will briefly outline the utilities’ proposals, then ask community members about their concerns and expectations.
Light refreshments will be served and Spanish interpretation services will be provided. If you’d like to arrive by transit, Richmond BART station is 7-blocks away or you can take AC Transit Line 72M.
For more information about the meeting, view the event flyer.
Transportation Electrification Public Meeting
Wednesday, September 13 at 6pm
Council Chambers, Richmond City Hall (440 Civic Center Plaza)
Thanks to a nearly $1 million grant from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), carsharing is about to become a reality in both Richmond and El Cerrito.
The MTC has awarded a $973,864 grant to fund a program called CarShare4All, a collaboration between City CarShare, the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) and the Bay Area Climate Collaborative (BACC). The program will deploy vehicles to El Cerrito, Richmond and Oakland, including a wheelchair-accessible van.
“Carsharing is a very important part of our strategy to provide transportation options,” said Kevin Romick, Chair of the Contra Costa Transportation Authority, “This project with City CarShare and the Bay Area Climate Collaborative provides critical links to and from public transit, which provides multi-modal travel choices for Contra Costa residents.”
According to a project factsheet released by Richmond Mayor-elect Tom Butt, beyond bringing carsharing to El Cerrito and Richmond, the CarShare4All program will allow City CarShare to expand access to discounted memberships for low- and moderate-income families and increase the availability of wheelchair-accessible vans to its members.
A date for initial service has not yet been released.
For more information about the program, read the CarShare4All fact sheet (posted by Richmond Mayor-elect Tom Butt) or City CarShare’s press release.
For more information on carsharing in Contra Costa County, visit 511CC’s carsharing page.