Help save 49cc scooters in Massachusetts

We’re dedicated to fair laws governing low-impact alternative transpotation in Massachusetts. Beginning on 8/1/2009 Massachusetts will begin enforcing a law which will make owning and operating 49cc scooters expensive and parking them difficult.

This law is an environmentally and socially irresponsible. It penalizes those of us who choose to use one of the most efficient and ecologically sound transportation options in an already over-crowded area.

This law contains no provisions for encouraging the use of alternative transportation, nor does it mandate that cities supply alternative parking options. It only places restrictions and undue burdens on scooter owners in the form of parking restrictions, mandatory registration, and required insurance for 49cc scooters previously classified as “mopeds”.

UPDATE: Our Scoot-In Protest at the State House and Boston Common (July 30th 2009)

The entire event went off without a hitch and the experience was extremely positive overall — even the rain held off until just after we ended at 10am). We were also covered in Boston Globe and these are photos on the Facebook Group.

Photo by Christopher King

Photo by Christopher King

Jeff's group did a great job of illustrating one possible dystopian future for scooter parking —and made the point wonderfully with 8 scooters occupying contiguous spaces on Charles St.

It was exciting to see the 49cc scooters in front of the State House. Some had expressed concern that parking a bunch of scooters on the sidewalk in front of the State House might hurt our cause (including the "editors" of the Globe), but I felt strongly that this location was critical to reenforce that this issue was being caused by poor planning on the part of Massachusetts and the RMV, and was not specific to Boston.

It became obvious, to participants and passersby alike, that the 20+ scooters were able park responsibly on the sidewalk without obstructing pedestrian traffic, and I'm glad to have stuck with that location.

Thanks to Boston Transportation Commissioner Tom Tinlin for coming out and agreeing to work with us to address alternative parking in Boston, and special thanks to Matt and Kai for arranging for us to speak further with Mr. Tinlin regarding alternative parking in Boston.
If you have pictures, please post them here or email them to me at and I'm happy to do it for you.
In addition to parking, I'm going to continue to work to address the larger state issue of the RMV reclassifying existing 49cc scooters currently classified as mopeds. I'll continue to update and the Facebook Group with news, information, and future events.

Please feel free to get in touch with me directly with thoughts, concerns, ideas, or if you'd like to help further.

Thanks again to everyone who participated and supported us!

Recent News Articles

Scooter owners rev up protest on parking covered our Scoot-In Protest The Boston Globe — (7/31/09) (More photos on Facebook)
Registry clarifies new scooter law mentions us. The Boston Globe — (7/28/09)
Scooter owners get break from City The Boston Globe — (7/24/09)
Scooter law revving up worry The Boston Globe — (7/21/09)

Previous Articles

ZAP car owners temporarily in park NECN Video — (11/14/09)
The Mass RMV has been quick to restrict zero-emissions vehicles but slow to provide alternatives.
Pinched by parking rules The Boston Globe — (2/1/09)
Despite recent statements to the contrary, the City of Boston has previously ticketed 49cc scooters with license plates parked on the sidewalk.

The Act

Chapter 523 of the Acts of 2008
Section 1H doesn’t even provide a classification for scooters that go between 30 and 40mph, it only says that the RMV now will have to right to require that they be registered. However, vehicles with license plates are forbidden from parking on the sidewalk, so unless cities individually change their laws, 49cc scooters will be required to use an entire parking space. Since the Act fails to classify these scooters, cities will have a hard time distinguishing between them. The City of Boston claims that it doesn’t plan to enforce the parking law for 49cc scooters, but how will scooter owners know which cities plan to enforce the law and if and when or if they change their mind?

Help Save Scooters

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Let Us Park on the Sidewalk
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