Electric Kick-Style Scooters (e-scooters)

The Ontario Government is committed to supporting new and emerging technologies that can help move people safely and efficiently while limiting environmental impacts. As new and emerging transportation modes evolve, new forms of electric vehicles present an opportunity to reduce traffic congestion, provide first and last mile connections to transit and present a new way for residents to get around their communities.

Effective January 1, 2020 a new pilot to permit Electric Kick Scooters (e-scooters) on Ontario’s roads will be in place.

Under the pilot, the province has set out the broad rules and requirements for e-scooters such as helmet requirements and minimum age. It is now up to the municipalities to pass by-laws to allow their use and determine where they can operate most safely in each unique environment.

Municipalities that choose to permit their use would be responsible for deciding such things as allowing or prohibiting them on municipal roads including parks, and trails; where parking would be located and how e-scooters would be managed in their municipality. The ministry has also developed a best practices document for municipalities to support them in developing their e-scooter program in a safe environment. For reference here is this Best Practices document (PDF - 253 KB).

Ontario’s objective is to create a viable framework for municipalities to allow e-scooters in their jurisdictions.

The pilot is intended to evaluate the use of e-scooters over a 5-year period to examine their ability to safely integrate with other vehicle types and determine whether existing rules of the road are adequate.

Key elements of the pilot

  • Municipalities must pass a by-law to allow them on municipal roads
  • 5-year pilot
  • Maximum speed 24 km/h
  • Maximum weight 45kg
  • Maximum power output 500W
  • Minimum operating age 16
  • No passengers allowed
  • No cargo may be carried
  • No baskets allowed
  • Riders must stand at all times
  • Bicycle helmet required for those under 18 years old
  • No pedals or seat allowed
  • Must have 2 wheels and brakes
  • Must have horn or bell
  • Must have one white light on front, one red light on rear and reflective material on sides
  • Maximum wheel diameter 17 inches
  • All HTA rules of the road will apply to the operation of e-scooters like bicycles
  • Penalties in HTA s. 228(8) will also apply to violations of pilot regulation (fine of $250 to $2,500)
  • Not allowed on controlled access highways

For the full list of pilot requirements, please see Ontario Regulation Electric Kick-Scooters.

After the pilot is done

The Ministry of Transportation expects that this pilot framework, in addition to continued discussions with municipalities, will provide the ministry with meaningful evidence to determine whether a permanent framework is warranted. Following a safety evaluation of these vehicles, the ministry will make a long-term decision on whether e-scooters are permanently allowed on road in Ontario.

Additional information

The e-scooters that are permitted under Ontario’s pilot are the electric kick style scooters.

The scooters can vary in design, weight and speed and there are a number of different configurations that Ontario’s pilot framework would cover. The pilot framework lists all the requirements that an e-scooter must meet to participate in the pilot. Below is an example of an electric kick style scooter.

an electric kick style scooter

This pilot approach allows the ministry to establish rules, monitor and evaluate any safety impacts of e-scooters. It is a measured approach that will promote road safety, foster business innovation and open the Ontario market to this new and growing sector. By allowing municipalities to permit the use of e-scooters in their jurisdiction creates more mobility options for Ontarians and demonstrates that the province is open for business by allowing new companies to operate in Ontario.

Municipalities will have the authority to create by-laws to prohibit e-scooters from any municipal areas that fall under their jurisdiction such as sidewalks; where the e-scooter parking would be located and how e-scooters would be managed in their municipality.

While the province is establishing a regulatory framework to define where and how e-scooters can be operated it will be the responsibility of the user/e-scooter company/municipality to ensure that the rider is able to safely operate the vehicle if a municipal by-law is passed to allow their use. Municipalities may require permits or licencing for those e-scooter companies wishing to offer e-scooter rental services and as part of those agreements there may be training requirements as well.

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