Power-assisted Bikes Permitted on Roads and Bicycle Lanes, Prohibited on Trails

Bicycle lanes provide Torontonains with an alternative mode of transportation.

The proliferation of alternate modes of transportation has created confusion for Torontonians in regards to where they can use their power assisted bicycles: on roads, bicycle lanes, multi-use trails or sidewalks.

Public roads and highways are legislated by the Province of Ontario under the Highway Traffic Act. The Province amended the Act to allow electric bicycles to operate on the province’s roads and highways. When the motor is running, power assisted bicycles are considered motor vehicles and must share the road with automobile traffic.

Bicycle lanes and multi-use trails are governed by the City of Toronto’s bylaws, not provincial legislation. Motorized vehicles are prohibited from using the City’s bicycle lanes and multi-use trails.

>Toronto City Council recently amended the City’s bicycle lane bylaws to allow e-bikes under 40 kg to use the City’s on-street bicycle lanes. The City will monitor e-bikes operating on on-street bike lanes to identify any safety issues that need to be addressed.

Electric bikes are only permitted on multi-use trails if the motor is off and they are propelled by muscle power. Any rider, who uses an electric bike on a multi-use trail with the motor on, is subject to a $305 fine.

Bicycles and electric bikes are prohibited from the City’s sidewalks as these fast moving vehicles pose a risk to pedestrian safety.

Obey the law or it could cost you.