e scooter toronto

Ontario just announced a 5-year pilot project for electric scooters

It's official, Ontario has announced the details of a five year e-scooter pilot program, which is supposed to help people in the province get around, all while growing the economy.

According to a news release by the Ontario government, the 5-year e-scooter pilot will begin on January 1, 2020.

"Ontario's e-scooter pilot will help businesses expand, enrich local economies and offer people more options to get around safely," said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation.

"Our government is strongly committed to promoting the highest standards of safety for all Ontarians who travel on our roads."

 Under the pilot, the province has set out rules and requirements for e-scooters such as helmet requirements and a minimum age of 16 years old.

E-scooters will also need to be equipped with a horn or bell and must have a front and rear light.

According to the release, the government will be working in partnership with Lime, a 'micro mobility' e-scooter sharing company. 

"This development means that Ontario's municipalities can now offer their residents new and sustainable ways to get around in their communities," said Chris Schafer, Senior Director, Strategic Development at Lime in Canada.

When it comes to implementing the program, municipalities can choose to pass by-laws to allow use of e-scooters and determine where they can operate most safely in each unique environment. 

Municipalities that choose to permit e-scooters will be responsible for considerations such as whether to allow or prohibit them on municipal roads including parks and trails; where parking will be located; and how e-scooters will be managed in their municipality.

In October, the city of Toronto adopted a motion that prohibits the use of e-scooters on City sidewalks and pedestrian ways, and prohibits any person from parking, storing or leaving an e-scooter on any street, sidewalk or pedestrian way. 

Toronto did dabble in e-scootering this past summer with the implementation of a Distillery District pilot program by  Bird Canada, an affiliate of the game-changing, California-based mobility tech firm Bird.

Concerns around having e-scooters infiltrate the streets stem from a number of issues that have popped up around the globe once cities introduced the mode of transportation to their streets.

Cities such as Los AngelesParis and Singapore, where shared e-scooters were found lying all over public spaces and sidewalks, experienced quite a bit of backlash among local residents and public servants.

So while other municipalities in the province decide on how they'll welcome e-scooters into their lives, Toronto is still deciding to take some more time to figure out the logistics. The rules for now are only intended as interim measures.

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