Commercial Bicycling

A delivery cyclist wearing a helmet attends a public presentation.

Bikes are an inexpensive, fast, and efficient way to deliver goods. The city has laws and rules to help make commercial bicycling safer. Administrative Code of the City of New York §10-157 and §10-157.1 pertain to businesses that use bicycles for commercial purposes. Failure to comply with these laws and rules may result in a fine.

Requirements for Commercial Bicyclists

Commercial Bicyclist Safety Course

The Commercial Bicyclist Safety Course covers essential information about employer and bicyclist responsibilities for safe biking with all necessary equipment. All commercial bicyclists in New York City are required to review the course. After a bicyclist has completed the course, employers should indicate it on the required roster. View the online course in English, Chinese (中文版) or Spanish (español) Download a printable version of the course in English, Chinese (中文版) or Spanish (español)

Requirements for Businesses

Requirements for Businesses using a Bicycle for Commercial Purposes

A business using a bicycle for commercial purposes that does not have a site within the City of New York that is open and available to the public must register with the New York City Department of Transportation. Use the link below to provide your information. Registration Form for Businesses using a Bicycle for Commercial Purposes

Commercial Bicyclist Safety Poster

Commercial bicyclist Safety Poster

Businesses that use bicycles for commercial purposes must post the commercial bicyclist safety poster where commercial bicyclists will easily see it and in languages that they understand. Download the poster in English, Chinese (中文版), Greek (ελληνικά), Haitian Creole (Kreyòl Ayisyen), Italian, Korean (한국어), Russian (ру́сский язы́к), or Spanish (español)

The poster is also available in a black-and-white version that prints on two letter pages. Download the black-and-white poster in English, Chinese (中文版), Greek (ελληνικά), Haitian Creole (Kreyòl Ayisyen), Italian, Korean (한국어), Russian (ру́сский язы́к), or Spanish (español)

Roster

Businesses that use bicycles for commercial purposes must maintain a roster that includes each commercial bicyclist’s name, residence address, date of employment and discharge from employment, unique 3-digit ID number; and confirmation that the bicyclist has completed the DOT Commercial Bicyclist Safety Course. Download a roster template (pdf)

The law requires that each commercial bicyclist have a unique three-digit number for ID purposes. If someone leaves, business owners may reassign that number, and record the change in their log.

Equipment for the Cyclist

A Sample Bicyclist Roster

Businesses must provide delivery cyclists with the following:

Commercial bicyclists must wear retro-reflective upper body apparel with their three-digit ID number and the business name on the back. Any garment, such as a jacket or vest, will be in compliance as long as the business name and ID number are legible, and it is retro-reflective.

Businesses must equip commercial bicycles with the following:

a well-equipped bike
  • A bell or other audible device – not a whistle or siren
  • White headlight and red taillight from dusk to dawn
  • Reflectors on each wheel and front and back of bicycle
  • Brakes
  • A metal or plastic sign at least 3 inches by 5 inches with the business name and a unique bicycle ID number for each bicycle (different from the bicyclist’s ID number). The sign must be affixed to the rear of each bicycle or bicycle seat, or both sides of the delivery basket. Download a bicycle sign template (pdf)

Carrying Deliveries

Hanging bags from handlebars is not recommended. The best way for business owners to help their employees safely carry deliveries is to provide a basket or pannier.

Templates

sample ID card and upper-body apparel

Do you Deliver? Brochure

DOT has prepared a short brochure and a full guidebook to assist businesses that use bicycles for commercial purposes. Download a Do You Deliver? brochure (pdf) Download the full Do You Deliver? guidebook in English, Spanish, Chinese or Greek (pdfs)

Commercial Cargo Bicycle Pilot Program

The Commercial Cargo Bicycle Pilot Program encourages the use of cargo bicycles for commercial purposes in New York City, and is open to any business interested in utilizing cargo bicycles. The purpose of the pilot is to allow the city and businesses to work together to better understand how cargo bicycles can successfully fit into the city’s streetscape.

Links & Resources:
Mayoral Press Release
Existing Commercial Bicycling Requirements
Trucks & Commercial Vehicle Info
General Bicycle Info

Context:
The New York City Department of Transportation is committed to exploring the expansion of options for sustainable and efficient transportation modes for freight delivery. This pilot is intended to encourage the use of low or no-emission vehicles for last-mile freight delivery. The pilot builds on the OneNYC goals of sustainability, freight mobility, and congestion reduction, and helps NYC keep pace with other domestic and international cities where commercial cargo bike deployments have already proven successful.

How to sign up:
Please contact freightmobility@dot.nyc.gov for more information.

Enforcement

DOT's Commercial Bicycle Unit will enforce §10-157 and §10-157.1 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York while inspecting those businesses using bicycles for commercial purposes and in response to 311 complaints.

NYPD will continue to enforce both traffic-related moving violations against bicyclists and §10-157 and §10-157.1 against business.

Commercial Bicyclist Forums

DOT holds interactive workshops for business owners about the commercial bicyclist law. At a forum, business owners can learn about the law and keep their employees safe, and also get a free sample of equipment required for commercial bicyclists. Check the Events calendar for upcoming forums

Update to Commercial Bicyclist Laws

This page reflects recent amendments to §10-157 and §10-157.1 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York, effective on September 27, 2017. The legislation related to this law is available from the City Council.

Commercial Bicyclist Outreach Summary

This report outlines DOT's efforts to promote safety for commercial bicyclists with the nation’s largest commercial cycling education and safety campaign. Download the report (pdf)

NYC Business Owners Bill of Rights

The City of New York provides certain rights to business owners regarding customer service, permits and inspections. Learn more about the NYC Business Owners Bill of Rights