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Electric Bike Pilot To Give Ontarians An Environmentally-Friendly Transportation Option

TORONTO, Oct. 4 /CNW/ - The McGuinty government is testing a clean, healthy transportation alternative with the launch of a pilot allowing the use of e-bikes on Ontario roads, Transportation Minister Donna Cansfield announced today.

"Ontarians are looking for healthy, environmentally sensitive ways to get around," said Cansfield. "E-bikes are an easy-to-use transportation choice that reduce emissions and help cut traffic congestion."

An e-bike can be pedaled like a bicycle or can be powered with an electric motor to a maximum speed of 32 kilometres an hour. Until now e-bikes were not permitted on Ontario roads.
The Ministry is conducting a pilot test to ensure that e-bikes can safely share the road with other traffic and pedestrians. For the next three years, e-bikes will be permitted on all roads where conventional bicycles are currently allowed. Riders must be at least 16 years of age and they must wear a bicycle helmet while riding.

"Emissions from cars, trucks and buses contribute greatly to the quality of air we breathe. With e-bikes, more Ontarians can connect to the outdoors in an environmentally-friendly way," said Minister of the Environment Laurel Broten.

"Many people who would like to commute by bicycle are concerned about their ability to tackle hills and long distances. Electric assist bicycles allow more people to ride more often. We applaud the government for allowing this option," added Juergen Weichert, spokesperson for the Electric Vehicle Council of Ottawa.

"Ontario has the safest roads in North America and the McGuinty government is committed to building on that record," added Cansfield. "The McGuinty government recognizes the importance of having a sustainable transportation system that will support the needs of today while protecting our natural environment for the future. E-bikes encourage people to leave their cars at home. Ontarians now have more mobility choices that are environmentally friendly, and this government encourages the safe use of these vehicles."

For Pilot Program Details - Click Here


An e-bike looks and operates like a bicycle with an electric motor that provides additional assistance. The rider can pedal normally and just use the motor to help out on hills or against winds, or use the motor all the time just to make riding easier.
An e-bike is a vehicle that:

• Has steering handlebars and is equipped with pedals
• Is designed to be propelled primarily by muscular power and to travel on two or three wheels
• Has an electric motor with a maximum power of 500 watts and a maximum speed of 32 km/h
• Bears a label that is permanently affixed by the manufacturer in a conspicuous location stating, in French and English, that the vehicle is a power-assisted bicycle and meets federal Motor Vehicle Safety regulations.

There are many benefits to choosing e-bikes for transportation, including the health benefits from exercise, freedom from traffic congestion, free parking, energy efficiency and zero emissions.
E-bike Use In Ontario

E-bikes are an environmentally friendly, energy-efficient transportation option now available to Ontarians 16 years of age and older through a three-year pilot project. This pilot will help ensure e-bikes can integrate safely with other road users, such as larger vehicles and pedestrians. Until now e-bikes were not permitted on Ontario roads.
Under this pilot:

• E-bikes are allowed on all Ontario roads where conventional bicycles are allowed. This means that e-bikes are not permitted on 400-series highways, the Queen Elizabeth Way, the Queensway in Ottawa or the Kitchener-Waterloo Expressway, and other provincial highways where bicycles are not permitted.
• E-bike owners are free of licence, registration, and insurance requirements.
• All riders must wear a helmet.
• E-bikes will require the same safety equipment as bicycles, including proper lights, brakes, and bell.
• Only e-bikes labelled as a "power-assisted bicycle" are eligible for the pilot.

Traffic laws that apply to bicycles and bicyclists would also apply to e-bikes and their riders. The set fine for most traffic or bicycle offences (e.g., not stopping at a red light, not having a bell) is $85. Riding an e-bike under the age of 16 or riding an e-bike without a helmet would be subject to the higher fines set for pilot projects ranging from $250 to $2,500.
Electric bicycles would be subject to the same municipal by-laws to which bicycles are subject (e.g., e-bikes would not be able to travel on sidewalks and roads where bicycles are prohibited by by-law; may travel on bike paths and park trails where by-laws permit bicycles).

e-bikes pilot is the latest example of the McGuinty government's commitment to build a modern, efficient infrastructure and reduce congestion on Ontario's roads.

Contact: Bob Nichols Ministry of Transportation 416-327-1158

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