Can I Legally Ride an Electric Scooter in Toronto?
UPDATE JUNE 2023
On June 5th, Toronto's Infrastructure Committee is meeting to debate suggesting legalization to City Council. We've published a new open letter to the Committee here.
We have three recommendations for this Committee, and more broadly, City Council, to consider and adopt:
- At minimum, legalization of privately-owned electric scooters under the guidelines of Ontario’s pilot program.
- Create a clear distinction between privately owned devices vs. any potential scooter-share program.
- Develop a best riding practices guide in collaboration with retailers, riders, all road users, and community stakeholders including vulnerable road user groups.
We'll keep you updated here with any new changes.
To start, let’s make something clear – electric scooters and other micromobility devices (like our Kickscooter MAX) are only going to continue increasing in popularity!
Like you, many other people have found the benefits of ditching their car for an e-scooter trip to be a great choice. In fact, many European, Asian and African countries have gotten on board with the Micromobility revolution. For many around the globe, electric scooters, electric bicycles and other micromobility devices are people’s primary form of transportation.
That doesn’t mean the whole world has gotten on board with this new, environmentally friendly mode of transportation. Many cities and areas of North America are still trying to figure out how electric scooters fit into their transportation mix – including Toronto.
In short, it is illegal to ride an electric scooter in Toronto.
Yep, it’s strange but true. There are already thousands of Electric Scooter and Micromobility riders on Toronto streets but Toronto City Council declined to join the Ontario E-Scooter Pilot Project. If you’re riding a Kickscooter in Toronto, there are a few things you should know.
The ban is not new. In fact, Electric Scooters and many Micromobility devices have been banned in Toronto since…ever. Toronto City Council’s vote on May 5th, 2021 simply reinforced the ban.
You probably won’t be hassled. The City Staff report indicated that the City and Police lack the resources to enforce a ban. If you’re riding safely, wearing a helmet and avoiding sidewalks, you should be fine.
We’re still selling Electric Scooters in Toronto. If you’ve pre-ordered a device from us, don’t worry, you’ll still receive it. In fact, we’ve now instituted enhanced training so that when you pick it up, you have a better understanding of how to operate your device safely.
Moped sized E-Bikes are also under Provincial consideration. Announced as part of the Moving Ontarians More Safely Act, e-bikes over 55kg could now be banned or require a licensed rider in the near future.
What This Means For Current and Future E-Scooter Riders
The City Council vote on May 5th, 2021, was mostly a referendum on scooter-share companies. City Staff and Council know there are thousands of e-scooter riders on city streets – and that the number is growing every day. While it is technically illegal to ride an e-scooter or other Micromobility device (aside from electric bicycles up to 500W in power) there is little to no enforcement. In fact, Toronto City Staff have identified they do not have the resources to enforce an electric scooter ban.
We cannot guarantee that you won’t receive a ticket but we’ve never heard of anyone receiving any fines. Our recommendation, if you choose to ride, is to follow the provincial e-scooter pilot program guidelines. When you ride any E-Scooter or Micromobility product bought from us or other retailers on Toronto city streets, you are technically breaking the law. We are currently working with Toronto City Staff and Toronto Police to ensure that this changes as soon as possible.
Ontario’s Electric Scooter Pilot Project
In 2019, Ontario launched an Electric Scooter pilot program. Cities like Mississauga, Ottawa and Windsor have all adopted ride-share programs and privately-owned e-scooters on their streets.
The Pilot’s primary guidance is to:
- Keep Speed to a maximum of 24 km/h
- Wear a helmet
- Ride like a bicycle (all HTA rules of the road that apply to bicycles apply to escooters)
- Use a front white light, rear red light and reflective side materials
- Use a horn or bell
The full guidelines can be read here.
All Segway Ninebot Kickscooters that are sold by Segway of Ontario post 2020 feature built-in lights and bells to adhere to HTA rules. Our recommendation to avoid any tickets or fines (and we cannot guarantee this) is to follow the Pilot guidelines and ride on the right side of streets, in cycle tracks, and multi-use paths.
How You Can Help Change This
We recommend contacting your City Councillor about this decision. If you’re not sure what to write, click here to copy/paste our form letter.
Politics moves at a slow pace so be patient. If you don’t hear back, send a follow-up a week later. Councillors and their staff are overworked and receive hundreds of emails a day – that’s why it’s necessary for as many E-Scooter and Micromobility riders as possible to send in emails.
You can also visit the Canadian Micromobility Alliance website. Founded by a group of Micromobility retailers, the CMA is aiming to develop better data, standardized training, and an insurance product for Micromobility users and Cyclists, in tandem with Allegory Insurance.
Why We’re Doing This
Since 2004, Segway of Ontario has been navigating legal questions related to Micromobility. Back then, electric Micromobility was literally just the Segway. In that time we’ve seen Electric Scooters, Electric Bicycles, and EUC’s come to market as viable personal transportation options.
As urban and suburban centres continue to densify, these types of micromobility options paired with better mass transit will be a necessary shift for cities to make. Full-sized vehicles like cars are highly inefficient at moving people compared to literally any other form of transportation. Increasing density means cities must adopt a more robust transportation mix or risk costlier road repair costs and decaying infrastructure.
We’re also a Canadian owned business which means we’re supporting the local economy with jobs. We’re not getting rich doing this but we are making an impact by reducing car trips and getting people on zero emission devices. The mental health benefits of these devices is also fantastic.
We truly value our relationship with customers, it’s how we’ve stayed in business since 2004. If you have any questions or additional concerns, please reach out to email@example.com.