City Seeks to Implement New Interim e-Scooter Strategy
Today, members of General Committee supported the recommendation to implement a new interim e-scooter strategy. The strategy responds to the presence of personally-owned electric kick-style scooters (e-scooters) currently being operated in Mississauga.
“Devices such as e-scooters can connect residents to their destinations by helping them complete the first or last kilometre of their travel, whether it’s to a bus stop, carpool lot or their final destination,” said Geoff Wright, Commissioner, Transportation and Works. “This interim strategy will create opportunities for us to collect resident feedback, which will inform whether shared e-scooter systems should become part of Mississauga’s greater transportation system in the future.”
On January 1, 2020, the Province of Ontario launched a five-year e-scooter pilot program to evaluate whether e-scooters are suitable to be operated on roadways. The pilot allows for the operation of e-scooters, so long as municipalities opt-in to the program by adopting or amending their by-laws to regulate their use. Currently, e-scooters are banned in Mississauga on the basis that the City has not yet adopted or amended its by-laws to regulate their use.
As part of the interim strategy, the Parks By-law and Traffic By-law would be amended to regulate where e-scooters can be operated within the city. This will allow staff to evaluate how residents use e-scooters. It will also help inform future decisions about the City’s micro-mobility program, which is examining how a shared program of publicly available bikes, e-bikes or e-scooters could be used for travel in Mississauga.
“Once amended, our City by-laws would allow e-scooters to operate on public roadways with a posted speed limit of 50 km/h or less and on cycling infrastructure, including bicycle lanes and multi-use trails along roadways,” said Helen Noehammer, Director, Infrastructure Planning and Engineering Services. “They will not be allowed within parks, on trails within parks or other City-owned land not designated as public roadways.”
When determining how the use of e-scooters should be regulated in the city, staff considered best practices in other cities, the consistency between e-scooters and similar devices on the road, road safety, accessibility, maintenance standards and the public education that would be required.
Noehammer added, “When developing the interim e-scooter strategy and preparing our recommendations for regulating e-scooter use, staff also consulted with the City’s Accessibility Advisory Committee, Road Safety Committee and Mississauga Cycling Advisory Committee to obtain their feedback and address any concerns.”
The amended by-laws will be brought to Council for approval in early 2021. Once in effect, residents will be invited to share their feedback on their experiences operating their e-scooters in the manner set out by the by-laws, and their experiences interacting with others operating e-scooters.
The City’s interim e-scooter strategy and the recommendation that staff amend the Parks by-law and Traffic by-law will go to Council for approval on December 9, 2020.