E-Scooter pilot project launched in Ontario

If you’re looking for an alternative way of getting around, you may soon see a new type of transportation in your community: an e-scooter.

The Ontario government announced that it is launching a five year pilot project to allow the use of e-scooters on roads. The two-wheeled, motorized vehicles are currently illegal to operate anywhere in the province other than on private property.

“Ontario’s e-scooter pilot will help businesses expand, enrich local economies and offer people more options to get around safely,” said Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney. “Our government is strongly committed to promoting the highest standards of safety for all Ontarians who travel on our roads.”

The pilot will let municipalities decide whether to allow e-scooters on municipal roads, including parks and trails. 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.

Drivers of e-scooters must be at least 16 years old and wear a helmet and their vehicles will need to have a horn or bell and a front and rear light.

“With Ontario adopting regulations for its e-scooter pilot, we’re excited by the momentum micro-mobility continues to gain across Canada,” said Chris Schafer, Senior Director, Strategic Development at Lime in Canada. “This development means that Ontario’s municipalities can now offer their residents new and sustainable ways to get around in their communities. We look forward to working in partnership with governments across the province and continuing to advance our shared transportation goals.”

E-scooters have been launched in over 125 U.S. cities and are being allowed under pilot conditions in Quebec and Alberta.

The government says it believes e-scooters can benefit hundreds of commuters by getting them to transit connections, reduce congestion and open the Ontario market to a new and growing sector.