by Jamie Stuckless, Executive Director, Share the Road Cycling Coalition
Ontario’s 5 year pilot for kick-style e-scooters officially started on January 1, 2020. But you won’t have seen any of the e-scooters in your community just yet.
Now that the province allows e-scooters, municipalities must each decide whether they want to pass a by-law to permit e-scooters in their community. Municipalities that choose to allow e-scooters can also decide where they can ride, where they should park and how they are managed.
As far as we know, the City of Windsor is close to being the first municipality in Ontario to allow e-scooters. In January, Windsor’s Environment, Transportation and Public Safety Committee debated and voted in favour of allowing e-scooters. City Council will debate the issue on Monday (Feb 24) and has the final say on whether or not this initiative will move forward.
Some of the regulations passed by the committee in Windsor include:
- E-scooters cannot be used on highways or roads with a speed limit exceeding 50 km/h;
- E-scooters must be left in designated areas;
- E-scooters aren’t permitted on Transit Windsor buses.
An initial report had recommended that Windsor mandate helmets for all e-scooter riders, but — as highlighted in this article by The Windsor Star — the committee voted to delete that recommendation and stick with provincial requirements that helmets be mandatory until age 18.
*Update: since we published this post, the City of Windsor approved their 5-year e-scooter pilot project. A program to allow e-scooter sharing and bike share will be considered by council in the next year. For more details check out The Windsor Star.
In London, Mississauga and Toronto, staff have been directed to prepare plans for consideration. Hamilton has also prepared an information report on e-scooters for their Planning Committee.
*Update: since we published, the City of Ottawa launched a public consultation on e-scooters are are seeking feedback by March 4th. More details here.
An e-scooter symposium is being hosted by the Ontario Traffic Council on March 5th in Mississauga and we are looking forward to participating in this in-depth discussion. More details about the symposium are available here: https://otc.org/events/otc-e-scooter-symposium/. This will be an important opportunity for municipalities to share information and hear directly from other jurisdictions with e-scooter experience.
Until the pilot began in 2020, e-scooters were not permitted to operate on roads in Ontario where the Highway Traffic Act (HTA) applies. Share the Road was supportive of this provincial pilot and many of our recommendations have been included in the pilot framework and in the province’s best practices document.
More to come — stay tuned!
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