Heads Up Alert: Province Announces Cargo E-Bike Pilot Program

Topic: Heads Up Alert
By: Scott Butler
Published: May 2021

On Monday, March 1, the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) announced a pilot program to permit the use of larger cargo e-bikes.

Municipalities wishing to permit the use of cargo e-bikes can now do so by the enacting a bylaw. Many smaller cargo e-bikes currently meet Ontario’s definition for power-assisted bicycles (e-bikes). This pilot program is specifically for larger cargo e-bikes that do not currently meet the definition of e-bikes. The pilot program sets out specific vehicle and operator requirements. These are linked below.

Highlights of the program include:

As with regular bicycles or e-bikes, all Highway Traffic Act rules of the road apply to cargo e-bikes. Penalties will also apply to violations of the pilot regulation (fines of $250 to $2,500).
Cargo e-bikes are only permitted in those municipalities that pass by-laws to permit their use.
Cargo e-bike operators are required to report any collisions in which they are involved to police in order to allow enforcement to report collisions to the ministry.
Similar experiments in other jurisdictions have shown that cargo e-bikes are an innovative modality that efficiently facilitates less carbon-intensive movement of goods. These devices have proven to be a key component of right-sized fleets and an effective tool in addressing congestion.

OGRA supports this pilot project because it preserves the decision-making authority of municipal governments while also enabling private sector innovation.

For more information, you can review the regulatory changes at:

Cargo E-bike Pilot Program

For Municipal Guidelines on Cargo E-Bikes Click Here