Regulatory clarity helps Toronto promote the use of cargo e-bikes Submission supports City Council in adopting e-bike recommendations

Publication - June 10, 2021 - By Carolyn Kim

On behalf of the Pembina Institute, Carolyn Kim submitted the following comments on June 7, 2021, to Toronto City Council. Following council's review of recommendations for greater use of cargo e-bikes, the recommendations were adopted. 

The City of Toronto has been proactive in its policymaking to permit pedal-assisted cargo e-bikes, and has enabled residents to commute and do their shopping without a car and businesses to replace trucks with cargo e-bikes to make deliveries. The recommendations for City Council's consideration in this motion would be consistent with its decision in July 2020 which allowed for expanded use of pedal-assisted cargo e-bikes, weighing not more than 120 kg unladenby residents and businesses on streets, bike lanes and cycle tracks

Like Toronto, cities in Canada (Vancouver and Montreal), the United States and Europe permit the use of pedal-assist cargo e-bikes for personal and commercial delivery purposes with measurable positive impactsin reducing cars and trucks and related congestion and emissions.

Proposed amendments to City of Toronto Municipal Codes are necessary to respond to and align with new legislative and regulatory changes by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation regarding power-assisted bicycles, including cargo power-assisted bicycles. To be more specific, the Ontario government has amended the Highway Traffic Act to define "power-assisted bicycles" and introduced new regulations for 5-year cargo e-bike pilot program for cargo e-bikes that weigh more than 55 kg (O.Reg. 141/21). 

These provincial policy changes allow the City of Toronto and other Ontario municipalities to determine where e-bikes and cargo e-bikes can safely operateThe recommendations in agenda item IE22.15 will continue to help provide the regulatory clarity and consistency needed to support the continued use of cargo e-bikes for delivery operations, and we encourage City Council to support the motion. 

Download the letter to read the full submission.


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