City Council has approved the City of Toronto’s participation in a provincial micromobility pilot that will permit the use of cargo e-bikes weighing more than 120 kilograms to help meet increasing demand for local deliveries, reduce greenhouse emissions and contribute to less traffic congestion.
Considered an emerging form of micromobility, cargo e-bikes are bicycles with additional storage and carrying capacity, as well as an electric motor to assist cyclists pedalling with the additional weight.
The use of cargo e-bikes weighing less than 120 kilograms was approved by Council in 2020, making Toronto one of the first municipalities in Ontario to approve bylaw amendments to allow for the expanded use of pedal-assisted cargo e-bikes. Throughout the pandemic, these cargo e-bikes have supported businesses in meeting enormous demand for local deliveries and provided a new cycling option for residents and families to get around the city. They have also encouraged the use of fewer delivery trucks, by courier, mail and delivery companies on city streets.
Earlier this year, the Province of Ontario introduced a new cargo e-bike regulation and pilot program for municipalities. The pilot requires that municipalities choose to opt-in and change their bylaws to allow for the use of any cargo e-bike weighing more than 55 kilograms on public streets including bike lanes and cycle tracks.
The pilot project – using larger cargo e-bikes – allows the City to evaluate the use of all types of cargo e-bikes as well as study the potential impact of this larger micromobility option on traffic congestion, accessibility, road safety and the movement of urban goods.
Cargo e-bikes are popular among businesses and delivery and courier companies because they are viewed as a safe, economically and environmentally sustainable alternative to delivery vehicles, and are playing an important role in supporting Toronto’s economic recovery from COVID-19 and achieving the City’s climate change goals.
For more, read the Cargo E-Bikes Pilot report and Freight and Goods Movement Strategy report. The Provincial O. Reg 141/21 Pilot Project – Cargo Power-Assisted Bicycles is also available to read online.
“People have come to rely on quick and efficient delivery services while shopping locally online. Larger cargo e-bikes can better help support local businesses in meeting this huge demand for convenient and timely delivery services. They have much bigger storage capacity which can be more practical for delivery and courier services looking to improve their delivery times by avoiding congestion, allow them to use fewer vehicles that create emissions, and reduce overhead costs such as fuel and maintenance associated with larger delivery vehicles.”
– Mayor John Tory
“By participating in the cargo e-bike pilot project, we are responsibly testing new technologies to improve how we transport goods in the City. I’m proud City Council is exploring more sustainable alternatives to delivery vehicles to help us achieve our climate action goals.”
– Councillor Jennifer McKelvie (Scarborough-Rough Park), Chair of the Infrastructure and Environment Committee
Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.