With the COVID-19 Crisis Creating a Nightmare for Us All, Why Does the City of Toronto’s Infrastructure Committee Think It?s More Important to Meet to Discuss Allowing Electric Scooters in Toronto?


Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update United for a Barrier-Free Society for All People with Disabilities
Web: http://www.aodaalliance.org Email: [email protected] Twitter: @aodaalliance Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/aodaalliance/

July 3, 2020

SUMMARY

The COVID-19 crisis now is into its fourth month with no end in sight. We need our politicians and public servants working 100% on alleviating the horrible burdens that COVID-19 has inflicted on us all. Yet the politicians on the City of Torontos Infrastructure Committee think it is more important to now debate allowing electric scooters (e-scooters) on Toronto street. This is so even though e-scooters are known to present a real danger to safety and accessibility for people with disabilities and others.

On July 2, 2020, the City of Toronto announced at its meeting on Thursday, July 9, 2020 meeting that the City of Toronto Infrastructure Committee will consider a proposal to eventually allow e-scooters in Toronto. The AODA Alliance quickly wrote the City of Torontos Infrastructure Committee to request an opportunity to address the Committee at its July 9, 2020 meeting. We set out that request, below.

We have not yet received an acknowledgement of our request to present, or an acceptance of our request. The AODA Alliance has played a major role raising serious safety and accessibility concerns for people with disabilities and others.

On July 2, 2020, the City of Toronto made public a detailed June 24, 2020 staff report on e-scooters submitted to the Infrastructure Committee by the Citys General Manager, Transportation Services. Below we set out key excerpts from that report from a disability perspective. We then set out the entire report, which is about 49 pages long.

We will have more to say about the staff report in the coming days. However, heres the AODA Alliances initial take on the report:

1. The City of Toronto Staff Report shows that to introduce e-scooters to Toronto will create real dangers to safety and accessibility for people with disabilities. The Staff Report says that it is an aim to reduce those dangers. However nothing in the reports plan of action would substantially reduce those dangers, much less eliminate them.

2. The Staff Report demonstrates that to introduce e-scooters to new costs and financial burdens will be imposed on the City of Toronto. The AODA takes the position that these burdens should not be inflicted on the public, especially after our society has had to suffer the crushing financial impact of the COVID-19 crisis, an impact that is continuing with no end in sight. If more public money were now to be spent, it should not be on the costs that the City of Toronto would have to shoulder due to the introduction of e-scooters.

3. The Staff Report shows that the supposed social benefits of e-scooters (reducing car traffic on the streets and better for the environment) are actually not proven by experience with e-scooters.

4. Despite all the demonstrated harms and burdens that e-scooters will inflict, and their dubious benefits, the Staff Report proposes that the City work towards conducting a pilot with e-scooters, deferring a decision to early in 2021. The Staff Report does not justify its conclusion, which is amply and overwhelmingly contradicted by the reports thorough analysis and findings.

5. The Staff Reports recommendations are directly contrary to the strong, unanimous recommendation to the City of Toronto by the statutorily-mandated Toronto Accessibility Advisory Committee. As the Staff Report notes, that Committee recommended that e-scooters not be allowed in Toronto. The Staff Reports recommendations are also contrary to the strong recommendations of 11 disability organizations in the January 22, 2020 open letter sent by the AODA Alliance to the mayors and councils of all Ontario municipalities.

6. Those who stand to profit from this proposal are the e-scooter rental companies that would open up this new rental market, without bearing the costs that our community would suffer. There is no doubt that their corporate lobbyists have been hard at work behind closed doors, trying to influence the members of Toronto City Council.

7. The AODA Alliance calls on the City of Toronto and its Infrastructure Committee to quickly reject this proposal. We call on the City of Toronto and its Infrastructure Committee to focus 100% of their time and effort to the horrific crisis that is now engulfing us at all, namely the COVID-19 crisis.

8. If the City of Toronto Infrastructure Committee is looking for a new priority agenda item to address, it should work comprehensively on making Torontos infrastructure fully accessible to people with disabilities. The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act requires Toronto, including its infrastructure, to become accessible to people with disabilities by 2025, under 4.5 years from now. Toronto is not on schedule to reach that goal.

9. It is especially unfair for the City of Toronto and its Infrastructure Committee to be bringing this issue forward now, in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis. City Council and Committee meetings are not open to the public to physically attend. Members of the public are struggling to cope with the multiple pressures that they face, that have been accumulating over the past 16 weeks. At the start of July, many are trying to just get something of a holiday, if possible. For its part, the AODA Alliance is overloaded with issues on which to advocate for people with disabilities during the COVID-19 crisis. For the City of Toronto to force us to also have to divert our volunteer advocacy efforts to this e-scooter issue now is just one more hardship that should not have had to be shouldered.

To learn more about the AODA Alliances advocacy efforts to protect people with disabilities and others from the dangers that e-scooters pose, visit our e-scooters web page.

We welcome your feedback. Write us at [email protected]

MORE DETAILS

July 2, 2020 Email from AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky to the Clerk of the City of Toronto Infrastructure Committee

To: Clerk, City of Toronto Infrastructure Committee
Via email: [email protected]
CC: Mayor John Tory
Via email: [email protected]
From: David Lepofsky, chair, Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Date: July 2, 2020
Re: July 9, 2020 Meeting of the City of Toronto Infrastructure Committee

I write to request a chance to present a deputation to the July 9, 2020 meeting of the Infrastructure Committee on the issue of electric scooters. The AODA Alliance, of which I am Chair, has played a leading role in raising serious disability safety and accessibility concerns with e-scooters.

I ask that we be permitted to present for more than the typical 5 minutes. Even a 10-minute time slot would be preferable to 5 minutes. We have very serous concerns to present, backed by extensive work on this issue. We have also played a leading role in advocating for the needs of people with disabilities during COVID-19, which will bear on the e-scooter issue. Five minutes will not allow us to effectively identify our key safety and accessibility concerns.

We are certain that many if not most of the counsellors will have had ample opportunities to individually hear from the corporate lobbyists for the e-scooter rental companies, before the July 9, 2020 meeting. It is important for the voices of people with disabilities to be given a fair chance to be heard. This is especially important since due to COVID-19, we are not able to attend the Committee meeting in person and in public.

We would be happy to do whatever we can to assist the Committee in its deliberations and to use our time efficiently.

Our advocacy work on the e-scooters issue is available at https://www.aodaalliance.org/e-scooters/

Our advocacy efforts on COVID-19 issues for people with disabilities are documented at www.aodaalliance.org/covid

We also ask that a fully accessible platform be used for the Committee meeting. Your office can contact me if we can assist with that issue.

Please confirm that you received this letter.

Sincerely,

David Lepofsky CM, O. Ont
Chair Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance

Key Excerpts from the June 24, 2020 City of Toronto Staff Report on E-Scooters

* this report recommends an approach that reduces the likelihood of e-scooter risks to riders, impacts on people with accessibility needs, community nuisance, and liability to the City, as well as enhancing the public benefits.

* City staff recommend that the Toronto Parking Authority (TPA) be authorized to serve as the provider of shared micromobility services to allow for the implementation of more safeguards and better coordination with other municipal services, especially Bike Share. This approach would result in a competitive procurement process for shared e-scooters that complements Bike Share Toronto. The use and parking of e-scooters would continue to be prohibited in Toronto until such time that the TPA service has been contracted and City resources for enforcement are in place.

This report also recommends the need for improved industry standards at the provincial and federal levels for greater consumer protection in the purchase and/or use of e-scooters. While staff are aware that e-scooters are being considered as an open-air transportation option, the absence of improved standards and available insurance for e-scooter riders, coupled with lack of enforcement resources, would risk the safety of riders and the public on the City’s streets and sidewalks, especially for people with disabilities.

Next steps are to commence development of an RFP by the TPA, with support by Transportation Services, and for City staff to report back in the first quarter of 2021 with an update on progress on opting into the pilot and proposed pilot by-law changes applicable to e-scooters (personal and shared) for an e-scooter pilot recommended for May 2021.

* RECOMMENDATIONS

The General Manager, Transportation Services recommends that:

1. City Council request that the General Manager, Transportation Services, report back in the first quarter of 2021 with progress on opting into the pilot and the recommendations below, including, but not limited to, injury, fatality and collision investigations and data collection and tracking, further standards development for e-scooter device design, as well as consultations on proposed by-law changes with the accessibility community and other external and internal stakeholders (e.g., Toronto Police Services, Toronto Parking Authority, and Toronto Public Health), prior to, or in conjunction with, proposed by-law changes required to opt in to the Provincial e-scooter pilot for May 2021, subject to budget approvals and COVID-19 status.

2. City Council amend Municipal Code Chapter 179 – Parking Authority by adding the term, “micromobility”, in section 179-7.1 to expand the Toronto Parking Authority’s authority over the bike share system to add micromobility share system as shown in the amended section in Attachment 1.

3. City Council request that the Ontario Ministry of Transportation amend the Motor Vehicle Collision Report to add electric kick-scooters as a vehicle type and to treat e-scooters as a motor vehicle for reporting purposes.

4. City Council request that the Ontario Ministry of Transportation and the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General establish set fines for violations of O. Reg. 389/19, Pilot Project –
Electric Kick-Scooters, and communicate these set fines to Toronto Police Services through an All Chiefs Bulletin.

5. City Council request that the General Manager, Transportation Services, consult with internal and external stakeholders regarding the lack of available medical coverage for e-scooter users and non-users when injured, and explore options with other government and industry stakeholders on creating a solution for automatic no-fault benefits for medical and rehabilitation expenses not provided through the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) for those injured in incidents involving e-scooters and other micromobility devices.

6. City Council request that the Ontario Ministry of Transportation strengthen its standards and specifications for e-scooters in O. Reg. 389/19, Pilot Project – Electric Kick-Scooters based on the latest best practice research.

7. City Council request that the General Manager of Transportation, in consultation with health agencies and/or academic partners, to explore options and methods for studying the health impacts of e-scooter use, including, but not limited to, tracking the number and types of injuries and fatalities related to e-scooters.

8. City Council request that the General Manager, Transportation Services, report back through the 2021 budget process, and in consultation with the Toronto Parking Authority, Toronto Police Services, the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, and other Divisions as necessary, on the financial and additional staff resources required to manage the implementation, operation, and enforcement of e-scooters in Toronto.

9. City Council authorize the City Solicitor to introduce the necessary bills to give effect to City Council’s decision and City Council authorize the City Solicitor to make any necessary clarifications, refinements, minor modifications, technical amendments, or by-law amendments as may be identified by the City Solicitor in order to give effect to the recommendations in this report dated June 24, 2020, titled “E-Scooters – A Vision Zero Road Safety Approach”, in consultation with the General Manager, Transportation Services and the President, Toronto Parking Authority.

* While e-scooters have potential to serve areas with less access to mobility, the experience of other cities has shown that this has not always been realized. The privately operated e-scooter business model is centred around serving areas with higher pedestrian density and more disposable income.

E-scooters pose a risk to people with disabilities due to their faster speeds and lack of noise. Cities that have allowed e-scooters have observed a high incidence of sidewalk riding by riders, whether permitted or not on sidewalks. Parked e-scooters, especially when part of a dockless sharing system, can pose trip hazards and obstacles. Seniors, people with disabilities, and those with socio-economic challenges could face negative outcomes if injured in a collision or fall. Solutions to enforcement and compliance are still in their infancy.

* On February 3, 2020, the Toronto Accessibility Advisory Committee recommended City Council prohibit e-scooters for use in public spaces including sidewalks and roads, and directed that any City permission granted to e-scooter companies be guided by public safety, in robust consultation with people living with disabilities, and related organizations serving this population.

* The key appeal and popularity of e-scooters is that they are fun and convenient, particularly to people under the age of 35. They are often used for recreation and touring, but can also be used as a method of commuting or for taking short utilitarian trips. They reduce effort and sweat from exertion compared to human-powered kick-scooters and bicycles. They also enable people to go farther distances than on foot. A large part of the convenience is that there is no need to search for parking as there is with a car; adding to that e-scooters are easy to access, if folded and carried with the user, or if available through a dockless sharing system where the devices are widely available on the street.

* Vision Zero Road Safety Risks with E-scooters
The City has a Vision Zero commitment to eliminate serious injuries and fatalities resulting from roadway crashes, particularly around six emphasis areas including pedestrians, school children, and older adults. Replacing car trips with e-scooter trips presents an opportunity to address some road safety issues if e-scooters produce a net safety benefit, especially for these groups. A 2020 International Transport Forum study notes that the risk of hospital admission may be higher for e-scooter riders than for cyclists, but that there are too few studies to draw firm conclusions. While not comprehensive, the emerging evidence of the health impacts associated with e-scooter use warrants a cautious approach to mitigate risks to e-scooter riders, pedestrians, and the City. Some of the findings are below.

New e-scooters users are most likely to be injured with 63 per cent of injuries occurring within the first nine times using an e-scooter. (CDC and City of Austin).

A comparison of serious injury rates between Calgary’s 2019 shared e-scooter pilot and Bike Share Toronto suggests riding a shared e-scooter is potentially about 350 times more likely to result in a serious injury than riding a shared bike on a per km basis, and about 100 times more likely on a per trip basis. This includes a limited sample size, differing definitions for serious injuries, different city contexts (e.g., Calgary allowed e-scooter riding on sidewalks, whereas bicycle riding is not allowed on sidewalks in Toronto) and serious injuries may decline over time as people gain experience riding e-scooters. (Montréal reported few e-scooter injuries for its 2019 pilot, however, it is unclear whether and how data for serious injuries was gathered.) Calculations are based on: 33 ER visits requiring ambulance transport over three months (Jul to Sep 2019) in Calgary for e-scooter-related injuries with a reported 750,000 trips, and average trip length of 0.9km; and 2,439,000 trips for Bike Share Toronto, with 3km average trip length, over 12 months in 2019, and no serious injuries (e.g., broken bones, head trauma, hospitalization) but attributing one for comparison purposes. Further data collection and studies of injuries are needed on a per km basis, by type of trip (i.e., recreational versus commuting, facility type), and by injury type.

The fatality rate for shared e-scooter users is potentially nine to 18 times the rate of bike share-related deaths in the U.S., based on a news report in the Chicagoreader.

Head trauma was reported in nearly one third of all e-scooter-related injuries in the U.S. from 2014 to 2018 more than twice the rate of head injuries to bicyclists. In a City of Austin study in 2018 over three months, 48 per cent of e-scooter riders who were hurt had head injuries (91 out of 190), with 15 per cent (28 riders) experiencing more serious traumatic brain injuries.

Falling off e-scooters was the cause of 80 per cent of injuries (183 riders); 20 per cent (45 riders) had collided with a vehicle or an object, according to a 2019 UCLA study of two hospital ERs in one year. Just over eight per cent of the injuries were to pedestrians injured as a result of e-scooters (11 hit by an e-scooter, 5 tripped over a parked e-scooter, and 5 were attempting to move an e-scooter not in use).

Hospital data will be key to track injuries and fatalities by type and severity, especially for incidents where no motor vehicle has been involved (e.g., losing control) or for a trip and fall involving improperly parked e-scooters. As an ICD-10 code (international standard injury reporting code) specific to e-scooters will not be implemented in Canada until at least spring 2021, a reliable method to track serious e-scooter related injuries and fatalities presenting at hospitals is currently not available.

* Although the HTA sets out some e-scooter standards, such as maximum speed and power wattage, due to the nature of urban and suburban conditions such as Toronto’s, City staff recommend that the Province strengthen the device standards for greater rider safety. Based on an extensive literature review, items recommended for further Provincial exploration include a maximum turning radius, a platform surface grip, wheel characteristics (e.g., minimum size, traction, tire width), braking and suspension.

In addition, the Province has not established set fine amounts for offences under the HTA e-scooter regulations. Without this in place, for the police to lay a charge in respect of a violation, a “Part III Summons” is required, which means the police must attend court for each charge laid regardless of severity, and a trial is required for a conviction and fine to be set. This may make it less likely that charges are laid. Fines outside of ones the City could set (e.g. e-scooter parking violations, illegal sidewalk riding) would create workload challenges for Police and courts.

In spite of the Pilot requirement to collect data, there is currently no vehicle type for e-scooters in the Ministry of Transportation’s (MTO) Motor Vehicle Collision Report (MVCR) template used by all police services to report collisions. Unless the Province specifies e-scooters are motor vehicles for the purposes of collision reporting, and has a field for this in its template, e-scooter collisions may not be reported reliably and meaningful collision data analysis will not be possible. In Fall 2019, City staff requested that the MTO add e-scooters as a separate vehicle type, but MTO has not yet communicated they would make this change.

* Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)
Persons with disabilities and seniors have considerable concerns about sidewalk and crosswalk interactions with e-scooter users, as well as concerns regarding trip hazards and obstructions from poorly parked or excessive amounts of e-scooters. The Toronto Accessibility Advisory Committee, a body required under the AODA, recommends that City Council prohibit the use of e-scooters in public spaces, including sidewalks and roads. In other jurisdictions outside of Ontario, some legal action has been undertaken against municipalities by persons injured as a result of e-scooter sidewalk obstructions, as well as by persons with disabilities.

* There is a significant risk that the City may be held partially or fully liable for damages if e-scooter riders or other parties are injured. Transportation Services staff consulted with the City’s Insurance and Risk Management office (I&RM) to understand the magnitude of the City’s liability if allowing e-scooters. At this time, loss data is lacking on e-scooters due to generally lengthy settlement times for bodily injury claims. The City has significant liability exposure, however, due to joint and several liability, as the City may have to pay an entire judgement or claim even if only found to be 1 per cent at fault for an incident. The City has a $5M deductible per occurrence, which means the City will be responsible for all costs below that amount. In terms of costs, Transportation Services staff will also be required to investigate and serve in the discovery process for claims.

E-scooter sharing/rental companies typically require a rider to sign a waiver, placing the onus of compensating injured parties on the rider. Riders are left financially exposed due to a lack of insurance coverage and if unable to pay, municipalities will be looked to for compensation (e.g., in settlements and courts). Claims related to e-scooter malfunction have been reported by the media (such as in Atlanta, Auckland, New Zealand and Brisbane, Australia). In 2019, a Grand Jury faulted the City of San Diego for inadequate regulation and enforcement of e-scooter sharing companies. By opting in to the Pilot, the City will be exposed to claims associated with improperly parked e-scooters as evidenced by lawsuits filed by persons with disabilities and those injured by e-scooter obstructions (such as in Minneapolis and Santa Monica, California).

The insurance industry does not currently have insurance products available for e-scooter riders. In Fall 2019, City staff explored whether the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund could be expanded or if a similar kind of fund in principle could be created to address claims where e-scooter riders or non-users are injured and their expenses are not covered by OHIP, nor by other insurance policies (e.g., homeowner’s or personal auto). Further research and consultation would be needed to look into these considerations.

It will be critical to ensure that insurance evidenced by e-scooter sharing companies will cover their operations for all jurisdictions operated in (e.g., all cities nationally or internationally). Further, there needs to be full indemnification for the municipality by e-scooter sharing companies, and not limitations in their indemnification contracts.

In addition to the experiences in other jurisdictions, several risk factors are unique to the City of Toronto and play a role in informing the recommended approach to e-scooters:

Streetcar tracks: Toronto has an extensive track network (177 linear kilometres) which poses a hazard to e-scooter riders due to the vehicle’s small wheel diameter.

Winter and State-Of-Good-Repair: Toronto experiences freezing and thawing that impacts the state-of-good-repair for roads. A large portion of roads are 40 to 50 years old, with 43 per cent of Major Roads and 24 per cent of Local Roads in poor condition. Coupled with lack of standards for e-scooter wheels (e.g., traction, size), this makes this particular device more sensitive to uneven road surfaces.

High construction activity: In addition to the city’s various infrastructure projects, Toronto has been one of the fastest growing cities with about 120 development construction sites in 2019.

Narrow sidewalks and high pedestrian mode shares in the Downtown Core and City Centres: Most jurisdictions experienced illegal sidewalk riding by e-scooter users, with some business districts saying e-scooters deterred patrons from visiting their previously pedestrian-friendly main streets. This is especially challenging with physical distancing requirements and other COVID-19 recovery programs expanding the use of the City’s sidewalks and boulevards.

* Residents gave the highest intensity of support for e-scooter riders having to wear helmets (mean score of 8.8 out of ten).

* Other key issues raised in the consultations include lack of enforcement and adequate infrastructure; and questions about environmental sustainability, public space and the potential for clutter and safety hazards particularly for people with disabilities.

* Other cities have suspended e-scooter sharing services until after COVID-19 (e.g., Windsor approved a shared e-scooter pilot in April 2020, but has now deferred its pilot until after COVID-19). Prior to the pandemic, a number of jurisdictions (e.g., Boulder, Honolulu, and Houston) had refused to allow or banned the use of e-scooters due to public safety concerns. Key cities with similar population, urban form, and/or climate have not yet piloted e-scooters such as New York City (Manhattan/New York County ban), Philadelphia, and Sydney, Australia.

* While staff have considered a potential e-scooter pilot on ActiveTO major road closures, it would pose risks to vulnerable road users and leave the City open to considerable liability and risk due to lack of resources for oversight, education and enforcement at this time. A key purpose of ActiveTO is to provide a mixed use space for physical activity for people of all ages for walking, jogging and human-powered cycling. Piloting a new vehicle type that is throttle-powered and can potentially exceed speeds of 24km/hr poses risks to vulnerable road users in such conditions. It could also lead to confusion about which infrastructure or facilities under ActiveTO are permissible, and this would pose public safety risks that the City does not have resources to manage at this time.

* Finally, the risk of injury for new users is high, and could put additional burden on local hospitals and paramedics at this time. For the reasons above, City staff do not recommend permitting e-scooters in ActiveTO facilities in 2020.

* If Council were to permit e-scooters to be operated on City streets – without the commensurate resources to provide oversight, education, outreach and enforcement, there would be considerable risks to public safety for e-scooter riders and other vulnerable road users; additional burden on hospitals and paramedics; impacts on accessibility, community nuisance and complaints; impacts on current initiatives to enhance the public realm for COVID-19 recovery efforts, such as CurbTO and CaféTO; and liability and costs to the City. For the reasons above, staff recommend that personal use of e-scooters not be considered until 2021.

* Recommended Approach
Staff recommend an approach that minimizes risk by seeking enhancements to the Provincial pilot project regulations and supports, as well as building from the improvements made to e-scooter programs in other cities. The conclusion is to propose a municipal service model under the TPA that is competitively procured, and that is coordinated with, and complements Bike Share Toronto. This will ensure shared micromobility continues as a public transportation option with oversight. This approach reduces impacts on sidewalk users and public space by managing shared micromobility parking. This approach requires an amendment to the authority granted to the TPA under Chapter 179, Parking Authority of the Municipal Code to add shared micromobility including e-scooters. (see Attachment 1)

Staff recommend continuing the current prohibitions of e-scooter use and parking as outlined in Chapter 950, Traffic and Parking, and Chapter 886, Footpaths, Pedestrian Ways, Bicycle Paths, Bicycle Lanes and Cycle Tracks, until the system for oversight is in place for public safety, and given the requests for amendments to Provincial regulations. While a number of e-scooter sharing companies are looking for permission from the City to allow e-scooters in 2020, staff do not recommend this as it would pre-empt the recommended approach for competitive procurement, require diversion of staff resources to manage opting in to the Provincial pilot, and lead to considerable risks and costs to the City. A pilot involving e-scooter use in ActiveTO facilities would not provide useful assessment of e-scooters as ActiveTO (e.g., major road closures) are not representative of typical real life conditions and interactions with other road users, and would present immediate liability exposure and costs to the City.

* Next steps are to commence development of an RFP by the TPA, with support by Transportation Services, and for City staff to report back in the first quarter of 2021 with an update on proposed pilot by-law changes applicable to e-scooters (personal and shared) and budget requirements for an e-scooter pilot recommended for May 2021.
The report back for 2021 can include any progress on consultations with the Province and other key stakeholders to:

Strengthen the e-scooter standards and specifications to foster greater safety for privately owned e-scooters and for e-scooter sharing;

Update the MVCR template and treat e-scooters as a motor vehicle for reporting purposes to enable effective, consistent data collection;
Establish set fines for offences made under the HTA Pilot Project regulations and communicate this to the Toronto Police; and

Research and explore issues and opportunities to create a fund for claims by e-scooter users and non-users who are injured as a result of e-scooter incidents and have medical/rehabilitation expenses not provided through OHIP or existing homeowner’s or auto insurance.

June 24, 2020 Report to Toronto City Council by General Manager Transportation Services for the City of Toronto

REPORT FOR ACTION

E-Scooters – A Vision Zero Road Safety Approach

Date: June 24, 2020
To: Infrastructure and Environment Committee
From: General Manager, Transportation Services
Wards: All

SUMMARY

E-scooters, or electric kick-scooters, are a new vehicle type suited for short urban trips. Since 2017, they have emerged in many cities across North America and Europe as they provide convenient, low-cost solutions for short trips and can provide connections to other modes of travel such as transit.

On January 1, 2020, new Provincial regulations came into effect that allow Ontario municipalities to opt in to a five-year e-scooter pilot project subject to conditions. This requires revising municipal by-laws to identify where e-scooters would be allowed to be used. Key pilot rules for e-scooter riders include a minimum operation age of 16, maximum travel speed of 24 km/hr, mandatory riding in bike lanes where available, and helmets required if the rider is under 18 years old.

This report is informed by a Vision Zero approach to road safety, particularly for vulnerable road users, while also considering the potential benefits of e-scooters such as convenience and alternatives to automobile use for short trips. Based on extensive research and consultations, this report recommends an approach that reduces the likelihood of e-scooter risks to riders, impacts on people with accessibility needs, community nuisance, and liability to the City, as well as enhancing the public benefits.

City staff recommend that the Toronto Parking Authority (TPA) be authorized to serve as the provider of shared micromobility services to allow for the implementation of more safeguards and better coordination with other municipal services, especially Bike Share. This approach would result in a competitive procurement process for shared e-scooters that complements Bike Share Toronto. The use and parking of e-scooters would continue to be prohibited in Toronto until such time that the TPA service has been contracted and City resources for enforcement are in place.

This report also recommends the need for improved industry standards at the provincial and federal levels for greater consumer protection in the purchase and/or use of e-scooters. While staff are aware that e-scooters are being considered as an open-air transportation option, the absence of improved standards and available insurance for e-scooter riders, coupled with lack of enforcement resources, would risk the safety of riders and the public on the City’s streets and sidewalks, especially for people with disabilities.

Next steps are to commence development of an RFP by the TPA, with support by Transportation Services, and for City staff to report back in the first quarter of 2021 with an update on progress on opting into the pilot and proposed pilot by-law changes applicable to e-scooters (personal and shared) for an e-scooter pilot recommended for May 2021.

RECOMMENDATIONS

The General Manager, Transportation Services recommends that:

1. City Council request that the General Manager, Transportation Services, report back in the first quarter of 2021 with progress on opting into the pilot and the recommendations below, including, but not limited to, injury, fatality and collision investigations and data collection and tracking, further standards development for e-scooter device design, as well as consultations on proposed by-law changes with the accessibility community and other external and internal stakeholders (e.g., Toronto Police Services, Toronto Parking Authority, and Toronto Public Health), prior to, or in conjunction with, proposed by-law changes required to opt in to the Provincial e-scooter pilot for May 2021, subject to budget approvals and COVID-19 status.

2. City Council amend Municipal Code Chapter 179 – Parking Authority by adding the term, “micromobility”, in section 179-7.1 to expand the Toronto Parking Authority’s authority over the bike share system to add micromobility share system as shown in the amended section in Attachment 1.

3. City Council request that the Ontario Ministry of Transportation amend the Motor Vehicle Collision Report to add electric kick-scooters as a vehicle type and to treat e-scooters as a motor vehicle for reporting purposes.

4. City Council request that the Ontario Ministry of Transportation and the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General establish set fines for violations of O. Reg. 389/19, Pilot Project –
Electric Kick-Scooters, and communicate these set fines to Toronto Police Services through an All Chiefs Bulletin.

5. City Council request that the General Manager, Transportation Services, consult with internal and external stakeholders regarding the lack of available medical coverage for e-scooter users and non-users when injured, and explore options with other government and industry stakeholders on creating a solution for automatic no-fault benefits for medical and rehabilitation expenses not provided through the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) for those injured in incidents involving e-scooters and other micromobility devices.

6. City Council request that the Ontario Ministry of Transportation strengthen its standards and specifications for e-scooters in O. Reg. 389/19, Pilot Project – Electric Kick-Scooters based on the latest best practice research.

7. City Council request that the General Manager of Transportation, in consultation with health agencies and/or academic partners, to explore options and methods for studying the health impacts of e-scooter use, including, but not limited to, tracking the number and types of injuries and fatalities related to e-scooters.

8. City Council request that the General Manager, Transportation Services, report back through the 2021 budget process, and in consultation with the Toronto Parking Authority, Toronto Police Services, the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, and other Divisions as necessary, on the financial and additional staff resources required to manage the implementation, operation, and enforcement of e-scooters in Toronto.

9. City Council authorize the City Solicitor to introduce the necessary bills to give effect to City Council’s decision and City Council authorize the City Solicitor to make any necessary clarifications, refinements, minor modifications, technical amendments, or by-law amendments as may be identified by the City Solicitor in order to give effect to the recommendations in this report dated June 24, 2020, titled “E-Scooters – A Vision Zero Road Safety Approach”, in consultation with the General Manager, Transportation Services and the President, Toronto Parking Authority.

FINANCIAL IMPACT

Funding and resources required in various programs for the following will be included as part of future budget submissions for consideration during the budget process to address the financial and additional staff resources required to: manage implementation, operational, and enforcement issues of e-scooters in Toronto; and the resolution of e-scooter issues, including, but not limited to, injury/fatality and collision investigations and data collection and tracking (e.g., in consultation with health agencies and/or academic partners, Toronto Police Services, and others), further standards development for e-scooter device design, and consultations on proposed by-law changes with accessibility and other stakeholders.

The Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer has reviewed this report and agrees with the financial impact information.

EQUITY STATEMENT
While e-scooters have potential to serve areas with less access to mobility, the experience of other cities has shown that this has not always been realized. The privately operated e-scooter business model is centred around serving areas with higher pedestrian density and more disposable income.

E-scooters pose a risk to people with disabilities due to their faster speeds and lack of noise. Cities that have allowed e-scooters have observed a high incidence of sidewalk riding by riders, whether permitted or not on sidewalks. Parked e-scooters, especially when part of a dockless sharing system, can pose trip hazards and obstacles. Seniors, people with disabilities, and those with socio-economic challenges could face negative outcomes if injured in a collision or fall. Solutions to enforcement and compliance are still in their infancy.

DECISION HISTORY

On February 3, 2020, the Toronto Accessibility Advisory Committee recommended City Council prohibit e-scooters for use in public spaces including sidewalks and roads, and directed that any City permission granted to e-scooter companies be guided by public safety, in robust consultation with people living with disabilities, and related organizations serving this population. http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2020.DI7.3

On October 2-3, 2019 City Council, directed the General Manager, Transportation Services, to report on a program for the oversight and management of e-scooters on City roadways, including possibly adding e-scooters to the bike share fleet as a way of managing e-scooters in the public right-of-way, to ensure a safe and accessible transportation network for all users during the proposed five-year Provincial pilot project. City Council also prohibited e-scooter use on City sidewalks and pedestrian ways, and parking, storing or leaving an e-scooter on any street, sidewalk and pedestrian way. http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2019.IE7.13

On April 25, 2019, the Infrastructure and Environment Committee requested a report back on a proposed regulatory framework, safe road design and intersection requirements for low-speed wheeled modes under 25 km, including but not limited to electric wheelchairs, scooters, cargo cycles, and e-assist cycles in Toronto. http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2019.IE4.5

COMMENTS

Background
E-scooters are a two-wheeled battery-powered device, with a narrow board that the rider stands on and steers using a handle stick, and a throttle for acceleration (see Figure 1 which is a photo of this device and a hand holding a smart phone). They are a form of micromobility, a general concept for shorter distance travel using light-weight vehicles such as bicycles, e-bikes, and e-scooters. They may be privately owned or are often rented by the minute through mobile apps.

On January 1, 2020, Ontario Regulation 389/19 Pilot Project – Electric Kick-Scooters under the Highway Traffic Act (HTA) came into force, outlining broad conditions for a five-year e-scooter pilot period. Municipalities may opt in to the pilot by revising their by-laws on where e-scooters would be allowed to operate such as roads, bike lanes, and trails within its jurisdiction. A few of the City of Toronto’s requested standards for e-scooters were included in the Province’s regulations. Key parameters in the HTA for the vehicle and rules are: Two wheels (one at the front of the kick-scooter and one at the rear); No seat, no pedals, no enclosure, no basket;
No carrying goods/items/cargo, no towing;
Maximum 500 watts, and maximum 24 km/hr speed;
Must have lights and bell or horn;
Maximum wheel diameter of 17 inches;
Maximum weight of 45 kilograms;
No provincial vehicle permit or driver’s license required;
Minimum age of 16 to operate an e-scooter; helmets required for those under 18; Must be used in bicycle lanes where they exist; and
Must be stopped for pedestrians at crosswalks and pedestrian crossovers.

In the absence of federal or provincial industry standards for e-scooter manufacturing and retailing, buyers are able to purchase e-scooters that do not meet provincial regulations.

Benefits of E-scooters
The key appeal and popularity of e-scooters is that they are fun and convenient, particularly to people under the age of 35. They are often used for recreation and touring, but can also be used as a method of commuting or for taking short utilitarian trips. They reduce effort and sweat from exertion compared to human-powered kick-scooters and bicycles. They also enable people to go farther distances than on foot. A large part of the convenience is that there is no need to search for parking as there is with a car; adding to that e-scooters are easy to access, if folded and carried with the user, or if available through a dockless sharing system where the devices are widely available on the street.

E-scooters also take up little space in the roadway and offer the potential to replace automobile trips with some reports of 30 per cent of riders choosing the e-scooter over taking a car/ridehail/taxi (Portland, Calgary), thereby helping to reduce traffic congestion. Some e-scooter rider surveys indicate e-scooters are used to address first mile/last mile issues to get to and from transit. For example, in the Paris area, about 23 per cent of trips were combined with another mode like public transit, and in Montreal, about 27 per cent of e-scooter trips originated or ended at a subway or train station. E-scooters are also attracting interest from individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic as they offer an individual, socially distanced, and open-air transportation option that is a potential alternative to public transit or car use.

Micromobility
Micromobility is a general concept for light weight, human- or electric-powered modes of travel such as walking, cycling, e-biking, and e-scootering used for shorter trips than by driving a car and for first and last mile to transit. Some cities (Montreal, Paris) and industry thinkers (Deloitte TMT Predictions 2020) anticipate that the future of e-micromobility will be realized with pedal assist e-bikes which can be used more comfortably for longer distances than e-scooters or human-powered bicycles, and allow for carrying cargo.

Recent reports by Metrolinx suggests that 40 per cent of trips (4.35 million trips in 2016) within the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) can be considered bikeable (i.e. less than five kilometres in length). Distances in the Downtown and City Centres in Toronto have great potential for micromobility. From a City Planning 2016 survey of those who live and work in the Downtown, 57 per cent reported walking to work, over 30 per cent taking public transit to work, and 13 per cent cycling to work.

Recognizing the importance of micromobility options, especially as part of COVID-19 emergency response and recovery, the City of Toronto and its agencies are already advancing active transportation as follows:
Implementation of ActiveTO, CurbTO, and CaféTO to reallocate space for walking, cycling, and support of local businesses and their patrons;
Implementation of TransformTO and ResilientTO with a target by 2050 that 75 per cent of trips under 5km will be by walking or cycling, and 100 per cent of transportation will use zero carbon energy;
Accelerated expansion of 40km of active transportation infrastructure in the City Council-adopted Cycling Network Plan;
Expansion of Bike Share Toronto in 2020 to 20 of the 25 wards in the City, adding 1,850 new bicycles, 160 stations and 3,615 docking points to the network. The system will grow to a total of 6,850 bikes, 625 stations, and 12,000 docking points.
Completion of e-bike feasibility testing and the addition of 300 e-bikes to the Bike Share fleet for 2020;
Implementation of the Electric Vehicle Strategy’s action to pilot electric micro-mobility programs (e.g., e-bikes, etc.) that expand electric mobility alternatives to driving; and
Implementation of the Walking Strategy (2009-2019) resulting in a majority of Torontonians saying their neighbourhood is very walkable (64 per cent citywide and 75 per cent in Toronto and East York, The Strategic Counsel’s 2018 survey).

Vision Zero Road Safety Risks with E-scooters
The City has a Vision Zero commitment to eliminate serious injuries and fatalities resulting from roadway crashes, particularly around six emphasis areas including pedestrians, school children, and older adults. Replacing car trips with e-scooter trips presents an opportunity to address some road safety issues if e-scooters produce a net safety benefit, especially for these groups. A 2020 International Transport Forum study notes that the risk of hospital admission may be higher for e-scooter riders than for cyclists, but that there are too few studies to draw firm conclusions. While not comprehensive, the emerging evidence of the health impacts associated with e-scooter use warrants a cautious approach to mitigate risks to e-scooter riders, pedestrians, and the City. Some of the findings are below.

New e-scooters users are most likely to be injured with 63 per cent of injuries occurring within the first nine times using an e-scooter. (CDC and City of Austin).

A comparison of serious injury rates between Calgary’s 2019 shared e-scooter pilot and Bike Share Toronto suggests riding a shared e-scooter is potentially about 350 times more likely to result in a serious injury than riding a shared bike on a per km basis, and about 100 times more likely on a per trip basis. This includes a limited sample size, differing definitions for serious injuries, different city contexts (e.g., Calgary allowed e-scooter riding on sidewalks, whereas bicycle riding is not allowed on sidewalks in Toronto) and serious injuries may decline over time as people gain experience riding e-scooters. (Montréal reported few e-scooter injuries for its 2019 pilot, however, it is unclear whether and how data for serious injuries was gathered.) Calculations are based on: 33 ER visits requiring ambulance transport over three months (Jul to Sep 2019) in Calgary for e-scooter-related injuries with a reported 750,000 trips, and average trip length of 0.9km; and 2,439,000 trips for Bike Share Toronto, with 3km average trip length, over 12 months in 2019, and no serious injuries (e.g., broken bones, head trauma, hospitalization) but attributing one for comparison purposes. Further data collection and studies of injuries are needed on a per km basis, by type of trip (i.e., recreational versus commuting, facility type), and by injury type.

The fatality rate for shared e-scooter users is potentially nine to 18 times the rate of bike share-related deaths in the U.S., based on a news report in the Chicagoreader.

Head trauma was reported in nearly one third of all e-scooter-related injuries in the U.S. from 2014 to 2018 more than twice the rate of head injuries to bicyclists. In a City of Austin study in 2018 over three months, 48 per cent of e-scooter riders who were hurt had head injuries (91 out of 190), with 15 per cent (28 riders) experiencing more serious traumatic brain injuries.

Falling off e-scooters was the cause of 80 per cent of injuries (183 riders); 20 per cent (45 riders) had collided with a vehicle or an object, according to a 2019 UCLA study of two hospital ERs in one year. Just over eight per cent of the injuries were to pedestrians injured as a result of e-scooters (11 hit by an e-scooter, 5 tripped over a parked e-scooter, and 5 were attempting to move an e-scooter not in use).

Hospital data will be key to track injuries and fatalities by type and severity, especially for incidents where no motor vehicle has been involved (e.g., losing control) or for a trip and fall involving improperly parked e-scooters. As an ICD-10 code (international standard injury reporting code) specific to e-scooters will not be implemented in Canada until at least spring 2021, a reliable method to track serious e-scooter related injuries and fatalities presenting at hospitals is currently not available.

Enhancing Vision Zero Road Safety with the Provincial Pilot Project

Although the HTA sets out some e-scooter standards, such as maximum speed and power wattage, due to the nature of urban and suburban conditions such as Toronto’s, City staff recommend that the Province strengthen the device standards for greater rider safety. Based on an extensive literature review, items recommended for further Provincial exploration include a maximum turning radius, a platform surface grip, wheel characteristics (e.g., minimum size, traction, tire width), braking and suspension.

In addition, the Province has not established set fine amounts for offences under the HTA e-scooter regulations. Without this in place, for the police to lay a charge in respect of a violation, a “Part III Summons” is required, which means the police must attend court for each charge laid regardless of severity, and a trial is required for a conviction and fine to be set. This may make it less likely that charges are laid. Fines outside of ones the City could set (e.g. e-scooter parking violations, illegal sidewalk riding) would create workload challenges for Police and courts.

In spite of the Pilot requirement to collect data, there is currently no vehicle type for e-scooters in the Ministry of Transportation’s (MTO) Motor Vehicle Collision Report (MVCR) template used by all police services to report collisions. Unless the Province specifies e-scooters are motor vehicles for the purposes of collision reporting, and has a field for this in its template, e-scooter collisions may not be reported reliably and meaningful collision data analysis will not be possible. In Fall 2019, City staff requested that the MTO add e-scooters as a separate vehicle type, but MTO has not yet communicated they would make this change.

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)
Persons with disabilities and seniors have considerable concerns about sidewalk and crosswalk interactions with e-scooter users, as well as concerns regarding trip hazards and obstructions from poorly parked or excessive amounts of e-scooters. The Toronto Accessibility Advisory Committee, a body required under the AODA, recommends that City Council prohibit the use of e-scooters in public spaces, including sidewalks and roads. In other jurisdictions outside of Ontario, some legal action has been undertaken against municipalities by persons injured as a result of e-scooter sidewalk obstructions, as well as by persons with disabilities.

Risk and Liability Issues
There is a significant risk that the City may be held partially or fully liable for damages if e-scooter riders or other parties are injured. Transportation Services staff consulted with the City’s Insurance and Risk Management office (I&RM) to understand the magnitude of the City’s liability if allowing e-scooters. At this time, loss data is lacking on e-scooters due to generally lengthy settlement times for bodily injury claims. The City has significant liability exposure, however, due to joint and several liability, as the City may have to pay an entire judgement or claim even if only found to be 1 per cent at fault for an incident. The City has a $5M deductible per occurrence, which means the City will be responsible for all costs below that amount. In terms of costs, Transportation Services staff will also be required to investigate and serve in the discovery process for claims.

E-scooter sharing/rental companies typically require a rider to sign a waiver, placing the onus of compensating injured parties on the rider. Riders are left financially exposed due to a lack of insurance coverage and if unable to pay, municipalities will be looked to for compensation (e.g., in settlements and courts). Claims related to e-scooter malfunction have been reported by the media (such as in Atlanta, Auckland, New Zealand and Brisbane, Australia). In 2019, a Grand Jury faulted the City of San Diego for inadequate regulation and enforcement of e-scooter sharing companies. By opting in to the Pilot, the City will be exposed to claims associated with improperly parked e-scooters as evidenced by lawsuits filed by persons with disabilities and those injured by e-scooter obstructions (such as in Minneapolis and Santa Monica, California).

The insurance industry does not currently have insurance products available for e-scooter riders. In Fall 2019, City staff explored whether the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund could be expanded or if a similar kind of fund in principle could be created to address claims where e-scooter riders or non-users are injured and their expenses are not covered by OHIP, nor by other insurance policies (e.g., homeowner’s or personal auto). Further research and consultation would be needed to look into these considerations.

It will be critical to ensure that insurance evidenced by e-scooter sharing companies will cover their operations for all jurisdictions operated in (e.g., all cities nationally or internationally). Further, there needs to be full indemnification for the municipality by e-scooter sharing companies, and not limitations in their indemnification contracts.

In addition to the experiences in other jurisdictions, several risk factors are unique to the City of Toronto and play a role in informing the recommended approach to e-scooters:

Streetcar tracks: Toronto has an extensive track network (177 linear kilometres) which poses a hazard to e-scooter riders due to the vehicle’s small wheel diameter.

Winter and State-Of-Good-Repair: Toronto experiences freezing and thawing that impacts the state-of-good-repair for roads. A large portion of roads are 40 to 50 years old, with 43 per cent of Major Roads and 24 per cent of Local Roads in poor condition. Coupled with lack of standards for e-scooter wheels (e.g., traction, size), this makes this particular device more sensitive to uneven road surfaces.

High construction activity: In addition to the city’s various infrastructure projects, Toronto has been one of the fastest growing cities with about 120 development construction sites in 2019.

Narrow sidewalks and high pedestrian mode shares in the Downtown Core and City Centres: Most jurisdictions experienced illegal sidewalk riding by e-scooter users, with some business districts saying e-scooters deterred patrons from visiting their previously pedestrian-friendly main streets. This is especially challenging with physical distancing requirements and other COVID-19 recovery programs expanding the use of the City’s sidewalks and boulevards.

Environmental Impacts of E-scooters
While some mode shift from driving to using an e-scooter has occurred in other cities, the majority of e-scooter trips would have been by walking or public transit (around 60% for Calgary and Portland; and 86% in Greater Paris). For example, 55 per cent would have walked instead of using an e-scooter (Calgary). From a Paris area survey, 44 per cent would have walked, 30 per cent would have used public transit, and 12 per cent would have used a bicycle/shared bike; while this study noted that e-scooters had no impact on car equipment reduction, an extrapolation would assume that 14 per cent would have used a car/ridehail/taxi, which still represents a minor shift away from motorized vehicular use.

Transportation accounts for about 38% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Toronto (2017). E-scooters are promoted as a near-zero local GHG transportation option as the electricity grid in Ontario is very low-carbon. A 2019 study based on life-cycle analysis suggests that average greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per e-scooter mile travelled were half the amount associated with a car, but 20 times than that of a personal bicycle. Suggesting that reliance on e-scooters alone to shift people out of cars and to reduce GHGs and environmental impacts may not be entirely effective. Environmental impacts of e-scooters include disused e-scooters arising from the device’s short lifespan, toxic materials from battery waste, and emissions from the manufacturing, shipping, and maintenance of sharing fleets. In May 2020, Jump reportedly scrapped thousands (possibly 20,000) still functional e-bikes, and in June 2020, an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 Circ e-scooters were scrapped in the Middle East.

Transportation Services staff consulted with Energy and Environment, and Solid Waste Management Services Divisions, who are involved in researching and monitoring issues related to e-waste in the Electric Vehicle Strategy, such as potential battery recycling and second life applications for batteries; impacts to the waste stream where end-of-life batteries from these devices may require special disposal as hazardous waste; and also management of discarded or abandoned e-scooters as litter.

Public and Stakeholder Feedback
Various consultation was undertaken in late 2019 to early 2020 (pre-pandemic), including direct staff contact, written submissions, in-person meetings, industry meetings, an online panel survey of 1,010 residents, and focus groups. City staff also consulted a municipal e-scooter coordinating committee across Ontario, and contacts across Canada, the U.S, as well as Paris and Transport for London, UK.

Results are fairly polarized among all those consulted with just over half supporting, and just under half not supporting, the use of e-scooters in Toronto. Most stakeholders and a majority of Toronto residents surveyed (69 per cent) support a coordinated approach to shared e-scooter services managed by Bike Share Toronto. Responses highlighted the potential of e-scooters to provide first mile/last mile connections, however concerns related to safety were also noted. Highlights from the online survey panel:

Fifty-five per cent of residents said they would be comfortable (19%) or somewhat comfortable (36%) recommending that a loved one use an e-scooter, while 18% said somewhat not comfortable, and 21% said not comfortable, and 6% were unsure.

About half of Toronto residents said e-scooters are still a new device and should be introduced cautiously, starting with a limited pilot project.

Residents gave the highest intensity of support for e-scooter riders having to wear helmets (mean score of 8.8 out of ten).

Dangerous and fun/adventure are top of mind words. Those 55 years or older are six times more likely to have said, “dangerous” for e-scooters than younger residents.

Eight per cent of residents said they have used or rented an e-scooter. Fun (26%) and convenient (25%) described their experiences, followed by “I would use it but not everyone should use it as it takes some skill” (19%).

Feedback from stakeholder groups surveyed:
Fifty-nine per cent said e-scooters could serve as a first and last mile transportation option to/from public transit.

Sixty-seven per cent said the City’s priority should be road safety, focused on preventing serious injuries and deaths in its approach to e-scooters, rising to 80% for BIA respondents.
Among BIA respondents, 47% said e-scooters are too dangerous to be on city streets and should not be used for transportation, while 40% said e-scooters should be treated the same as power-assisted bicycles.

Other key issues raised in the consultations include lack of enforcement and adequate infrastructure; and questions about environmental sustainability, public space and the potential for clutter and safety hazards particularly for people with disabilities.

Industry Stakeholders
Over 20 e-scooter-, micromobility- and software-related companies have been actively seeking out meetings with City staff, and to varying degrees with City Councillors, TPA Board Members, and senior management at the City to persuade them of the potential benefits of e-scooter sharing products and services. City staff conducted two industry group meetings – one in October 2019 and one in January 2020 – among other individual meetings and communications with industry representatives to understand and share information on e-scooter issues and to develop this report.

E-Scooters and COVID-19
Some cities like San Francisco designated shared mobility as essential during the COVID-19 pandemic, while others have not (e.g., Chicago). Some e-scooter providers provided discounts or incentives like free 30 minute rides for essential frontline or hospital workers. Cleaning was done more frequently (e.g., twice per day or each time the e-scooters were charged/maintained), and users are reminded to wash their hands and not touch their faces. In cities where the service was deemed essential, many private sector providers had reduced or altogether removed their shared bike and e-scooter fleets due to low demand, and in some cases this was contrary to municipal desires to provide transportation options to the public who rely on them (e.g., Portland, San Francisco, and SoBi bike share in Hamilton, Ontario).

While physical distancing requirements and COVID-19 impacts have changed travel patterns, existing options such as independent cycling and use of Toronto Bike Share, in combination with expanded cycling infrastructure, have increased to provide independent mobility. For the first 5 months of 2020, Bike Share Toronto casual ridership has increased 72.6 per cent over the same period in 2019. A Forbes article reported cycling being up 150 per cent in Philadelphia in May 2020.

More recently, with cities in stages of re-opening, e-scooter sharing companies are returning (e.g., Calgary, Edmonton). Other cities have suspended e-scooter sharing services until after COVID-19 (e.g., Windsor approved a shared e-scooter pilot in April 2020, but has now deferred its pilot until after COVID-19). Prior to the pandemic, a number of jurisdictions (e.g., Boulder, Honolulu, and Houston) had refused to allow or banned the use of e-scooters due to public safety concerns. Key cities with similar population, urban form, and/or climate have not yet piloted e-scooters such as New York City (Manhattan/New York County ban), Philadelphia, and Sydney, Australia. A summary of lessons learned from other jurisdictions can be found in Attachment 2.

Consideration of a Potential Pilot for ActiveTO Major Road Closures
While staff have considered a potential e-scooter pilot on ActiveTO major road closures, it would pose risks to vulnerable road users and leave the City open to considerable liability and risk due to lack of resources for oversight, education and enforcement at this time. A key purpose of ActiveTO is to provide a mixed use space for physical activity for people of all ages for walking, jogging and human-powered cycling. Piloting a new vehicle type that is throttle-powered and can potentially exceed speeds of 24km/hr poses risks to vulnerable road users in such conditions. It could also lead to confusion about which infrastructure or facilities under ActiveTO are permissible, and this would pose public safety risks that the City does not have resources to manage at this time.

City staff would also need to address fair process for the 15 or more companies interested in renting out e-scooters for use in a short timeframe (e.g., processing requirements for insurance and indemnification, and appeals for which vendors are allowed or rejected, and creating a permit/legal agreement for the vendors allowed), and this would pre-empt the recommended RFP process. Finally, the risk of injury for new users is high, and could put additional burden on local hospitals and paramedics at this time. For the reasons above, City staff do not recommend permitting e-scooters in ActiveTO facilities in 2020.

Consideration of Allowing Personal E-scooters, Not Shared E-scooters

In theory, there would be a way to only allow personal e-scooters and not shared e-scooters, but this is not the case. By changing the City’s bylaws to allow e-scooters to be operated on the City’s streets it would be near impossible to prevent shared or rental e-scooters. For example, a number of companies both sell e-scooters for private use and rent them for shared use (e.g., Bird, Razor, and Segway). In addition, while e-scooters present another form of individualized mobility other than cycling or driving, it is limited by the HTA’s e-scooter regulations that do not allow carrying items/goods for safety reasons as this could affect an e-scooter rider’s balance resulting in falls or losing control. Further, e-scooters appear very simple to use, which poses a risk that new riders underestimate the skill and attention required to balance and ride safely.

If Council were to permit e-scooters to be operated on City streets – without the commensurate resources to provide oversight, education, outreach and enforcement, there would be considerable risks to public safety for e-scooter riders and other vulnerable road users; additional burden on hospitals and paramedics; impacts on accessibility, community nuisance and complaints; impacts on current initiatives to enhance the public realm for COVID-19 recovery efforts, such as CurbTO and CaféTO; and liability and costs to the City. For the reasons above, staff recommend that personal use of e-scooters not be considered until 2021.

Recommended Approach
Staff recommend an approach that minimizes risk by seeking enhancements to the Provincial pilot project regulations and supports, as well as building from the improvements made to e-scooter programs in other cities. The conclusion is to propose a municipal service model under the TPA that is competitively procured, and that is coordinated with, and complements Bike Share Toronto. This will ensure shared micromobility continues as a public transportation option with oversight. This approach reduces impacts on sidewalk users and public space by managing shared micromobility parking. This approach requires an amendment to the authority granted to the TPA under Chapter 179, Parking Authority of the Municipal Code to add shared micromobility including e-scooters. (see Attachment 1)

Staff recommend continuing the current prohibitions of e-scooter use and parking as outlined in Chapter 950, Traffic and Parking, and Chapter 886, Footpaths, Pedestrian Ways, Bicycle Paths, Bicycle Lanes and Cycle Tracks, until the system for oversight is in place for public safety, and given the requests for amendments to Provincial regulations. While a number of e-scooter sharing companies are looking for permission from the City to allow e-scooters in 2020, staff do not recommend this as it would pre-empt the recommended approach for competitive procurement, require diversion of staff resources to manage opting in to the Provincial pilot, and lead to considerable risks and costs to the City. A pilot involving e-scooter use in ActiveTO facilities would not provide useful assessment of e-scooters as ActiveTO (e.g., major road closures) are not representative of typical real life conditions and interactions with other road users, and would present immediate liability exposure and costs to the City.

Next Steps
Next steps are to commence development of an RFP by the TPA, with support by Transportation Services, and for City staff to report back in the first quarter of 2021 with an update on proposed pilot by-law changes applicable to e-scooters (personal and shared) and budget requirements for an e-scooter pilot recommended for May 2021.
The report back for 2021 can include any progress on consultations with the Province and other key stakeholders to:

Strengthen the e-scooter standards and specifications to foster greater safety for privately owned e-scooters and for e-scooter sharing;

Update the MVCR template and treat e-scooters as a motor vehicle for reporting purposes to enable effective, consistent data collection;
Establish set fines for offences made under the HTA Pilot Project regulations and communicate this to the Toronto Police; and

Research and explore issues and opportunities to create a fund for claims by e-scooter users and non-users who are injured as a result of e-scooter incidents and have medical/rehabilitation expenses not provided through OHIP or existing homeowner’s or auto insurance.

CONTACT

Elyse Parker, Director, Policy and Innovation, Transportation Services, Tel: 416-338-2432, Email: [email protected]

Janet Lo, Senior Project Manager, Transportation Services, Tel: 416-397-4853, Email: [email protected]

SIGNATURE Barbara Gray, General Manager, Transportation Services ATTACHMENTS
Attachment 1: Amendments to Chapter 179 – Parking Authority
Attachment 2: Lessons Learned from Other Jurisdictions
Attachment 3: E-scooter Focus Groups Report
Attachment 4: Views of Toronto Residents on E-Scooters (Summary Report)?

Attachment 1: Amendments to Chapter 179 – Parking Authority

Add the following definition:

MICROMOBILITY a category of vehicles or devices that includes those operated or used by a person that moves the sole person operating or using the vehicle or device, as well as any vehicles or devices that can move or carry up to two people including the person operating the vehicle or device, that are not automobiles, such as without limitation electric bicycles, electric kick-scooters, and electric mopeds, and that excludes wheelchairs or unenclosed motorized wheelchairs.

§ 179-7.1 Authority over bike share and micromobility share system
All the powers, rights, authorities and privileges with respect to the ownership, acquisition, management, maintenance and operation of the bike share and micromobility share program assets within the City of Toronto or outside the geographical boundaries of the City of Toronto, including entering into contracts and agreements, undertaking sponsorship, naming, rebranding, partnership, acceptance of donations, approval of sponsorship and third party advertising on the station panels, and all other related ownership, operational, management or revenue generating activities, shall be exercised only by the Parking Authority, subject to the following limitations:
A. Any operating surplus from the bike share program shall be deposited in the bike share program reserve for the purposes of the reserve, including replenishment of the bike share program capital assets and/or any future operating deficits.
B. The Parking Authority shall be required to obtain the approval of the appropriate City officials with respect to the location or relocation of the bike share stations and equipment on City property which has not been designated for the Parking Authority’s use by by-law of Council; and shall be required to obtain the approval of the appropriate City officials with respect to the location or relocation of the micromobility stations and equipment on any City property. C. (Reserved) 6
D. Despite anything else in this section, where the annualized cash flow deficit for the bike share program exceeds $750,000, the President of the Parking Authority shall report directly to Council for direction.
E. The Parking Authority shall not undertake any actions in connection with the bike share and micromobility share system outside the geographic boundaries of the City of Toronto unless the action is in keeping with the purposes of enhancing the long term viability of Bike Share Toronto and the micromobility share system overseen by the Parking Authority, or building and developing the Bike Share Toronto brand or other micromobility system brands overseen by the Parking Authority and not until the Parking Authority obtains the consent of the municipality in which such actions will occur, in accordance with the City of Toronto Act, 2006.

Attachment 2: Lessons Learned from Other Jurisdictions

More recently, e-scooters have received greater interest as a potential open-air transportation alternative that enables physical distancing. While a number of jurisdictions that previously did not allow e-scooters are considering it, such as the UK, it is still early days in terms of how the schemes will be established to address public safety, nuisance and liability issues. Iterative approaches include time limited pilots (e.g., four months or one season) and geographically contained pilots. In June 2020, the UKs largest urban transport authorities have urged caution in response to the national government’s consultation on allowing e-scooter trials, with respect to speed and the impact on active travel.

Key parameters put forward in their response:
Recommending mandatory helmet use;
Setting e-scooter device standards for features such minimum wheel size, lighting, braking and indicators; Introducing mandatory training for e-scooter users;
Addressing the risk that e-scooters will replace walking and cycling journeys and associated public health impacts; Improving cycle infrastructure and streets that place people first; and
Giving municipalities the explicit powers to cap the number of rental e-scooters.

While these UK cities welcome the opportunity for e-scooter trials, they made a joint statement that “it is vitally important that Government recognises the need for e-scooters to be introduced safely and in a way that ensures they help rather than hinder the achievement of wider city region objectives for people and places, from a pleasant urban realm to a healthy population.

Where e-scooters are allowed to operate
Majority of cities treat e-scooters like bicycles and allow them to be operated in bike lanes and on roads (with maximum posted speed limits of 40km/hr to 50km/hr), and prohibit them from sidewalks, trails, paths and parks. Cities that initially allowed e-scooters on sidewalks have since banned them due to safety issues (pedestrian deaths and injuries), e.g., France, Spain, Singapore and San Diego; and other jurisdictions such Ottawa’s National Capital Commission have banned e-scooters on mixed use trails/paths.

E-scooters have been prohibited also from mixed use paths or in parks because of the intermixing with people and children on foot, who are slower, and also making unpredictable movements when using public space for leisure and recreational purposes. In cities such as Berlin, Paris and Tel Aviv, where e-scooters are permitted for operation on roads or bike lanes, and not sidewalks, there have been compliance and enforcement issues with these rules. Some cities (such as Atlanta) and countries (such as the UK) have accelerated bicycle infrastructure projects after e-scooter fatalities, and in anticipation of expanding micromobility. In May 2020, the UK announced a £250 million emergency active travel fund – the first stage of a £2 billion investment supporting cycling, walking and bus-only infrastructure.

Where e-scooters are allowed to park
Dockless or free-floating e-scooters are said to be the most convenient for potential e-scooter customers, as they are left anywhere on sidewalks in a convenient location to be found by an e-scooter customer. E-scooter clutter has resulted in obstacles for pedestrians especially those with disabilities, and in some cases, injury and lawsuits. (Santa Monica, Minneapolis, Paris) More jurisdictions are requiring e-scooters to be parked: in designated areas (Berlin, Calgary, Montreal), at docked stations (Christchurch, New Zealand), or locked to a post (e.g., for bike parking) (San Francisco).

In some jurisdictions, e-scooters must be removed overnight or locked (unable to be unlocked and used) to prevent theft, vandalism using e-scooters or vandalism of e-scooters, and intoxicated riding. Companies are developing docked stations that enable charging (e.g., Spin). While some companies operate a dockless approach, there is feedback from some cities that users prefer having the reliability of designated areas or docked stations available to find the e-scooters, bike share or e-bike share.

Personal E-scooter Use, Protections and Regulations
Most jurisdictions do not require individuals to have permits or licenses to operate personal e-scooters; however, some have begun to implement greater oversight to address public safety:

The Netherlands has device standards and testing, and only e-scooters meeting certain conditions are allowed for use on public roads after the RDW (the Vehicle Authority) assesses them.
Germany and The Netherlands have mandatory insurance requirements for individual e-scooter users.
New Zealand has an Accident Compensation Corporation that covers personal injury claims related to e-scooters (for riders and non-riders).
Australia has the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which holds e-scooter companies accountable to its legislation (e.g., misrepresentations to consumers about safety when issues known were not disclosed to e-scooter users).
Malta requires that e-scooter users must be in possession of a valid driving licence, third-party insurance coverage and registration plates like a normal vehicle. Breaching these rules could result in being fined thousands of euros, confiscation of the e-scooter, and license suspension.
Singapore requires mandatory training for e-scooter riders, and has high fines and penalties including compensation of damages for injured parties and jail time. Province of Quebec requires helmets for e-scooter users.
Tel Aviv requires e-scooter riders wear a helmet with a high visibility strip; a drivers license or training; and license plates affixed to e-scooters. (regulations were implemented in response to fatalities) Program Management of E-scooter Sharing
In general, jurisdictions have used either a selective permit system or a request for proposals/qualifications for e-scooter sharing companies. Across existing pilot projects, the ideal number of operators ranges from two to four, in order to reduce community nuisance with high amounts of e-scooters on sidewalks, and to reduce the burden of enforcement. More cities are using an RFP (competitive procurement) to have greater oversight over shared mobility as an essential part of public transportation for residents. Cities have also emphasized the importance of taking an incremental approach, and being conservative in setting the initial fleet size and geographic area to mitigate issues related to new rider behaviours and sidewalk clutter, liability and risk, and to evaluate and modify program parameters. Key criteria or conditions in RFP/RFQs and selective permit systems include: strong and clear indemnification agreements, adequate insurance requirements and upfront fees and deposits, minimum service standards,
social equity requirements, data and dashboard requirements including both the MDS and GBFS standards, and a 24 hour/7 day a week customer phone line. Enforcement
A number of jurisdictions have set higher fines for aberrant behaviour such as discourteous or reckless sidewalk riding, improper parking and intoxicated riding.
Citations have been issued to e-scooter companies and in some cases, permits have been revoked and re-issued after compliance is improved. In general, jurisdictions do not have the capacity to enforce compliance. For example, Tel Aviv has a unit of 22 inspectors dedicated to enforcing that e-scooters do not ride on sidewalks. These inspectors are able to issue tickets for sidewalk violations, but only the police have the authority to issue tickets to riders not wearing helmets, as required by law. 21,000 tickets for sidewalk offenses were issued in 2019.

Earlier on with the introduction of e-scooters, some cities had to deal with issuing injunctions and seizing and impounding e-scooters of companies that launched in these cities without permission from the cities. Some cities have outsourced the enforcement and compliance operations to manage parking issues and other complaints.

E-scooter Focus Groups Report
Prepared for the City of Toronto’s Transportation Services Division February 2020
Written and compiled for the City of Torontos Transportation Services by Swerhun Inc.

Overview and background

This e-scooter Focus Groups Report is an integrated summary of five focus groups commissioned by the City of Toronto to help inform its decision-making about if/how to consider a role for e-scooters in Toronto. It was prepared by Swerhun Inc., third-party facilitation firm retained by the City of Toronto to design, facilitate, and report on the focus groups. The intent of this report is to capture feedback and advice shared by focus group participants and is not intended to imply consensus of opinions. This report should be read in concert with other reports prepared as part of the Citys research / exploration into e-scooters.

As of January 1, 2020, the Government of Ontario has given cities the option to test electric kick-scooters or e-scooters on public roads, trails, parks and sidewalks (if they choose to participate through changing their municipal by-laws). An e-scooter is a two-wheeled electric-powered device, where the rider stands on a narrow board holding a handlebar (see picture below).

Staff from the City of Torontos Transportation Services are preparing a report for City Council with advice on if/how to proceed with exploring a role for e-scooters in Toronto. To inform the staff report, Transportation Services commissioned five focus groups to better understand the publics knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions about e-scooters. The focus groups are one of multiple research inputs informing the staff report. Other inputs include an online survey of Toronto residents (~1,000 residents), stakeholder consultation, consultation with representatives of the e-scooter industry, and research by City staff and policy considerations.

Recruitment overview

Recruitment objectives

The Citys recruitment approach was guided by an objective to assemble groups of individuals representing five interest-specific groups: cyclists, drivers, local business owners/managers, local retailers of electric mobility devices, and pedestrians/transit riders. The Citys rationale for choosing these groups was to understand the perspectives of the different road users in Toronto, including their thoughts about e-scooters relationship to public realm, streets, sidewalks, entrances (as related to businesses with a bricks and mortar establishments, such as restaurants or stores selling goods/services), and businesses selling or repairing e-scooters and/or similar mobility devices.

The City also wanted to ensure a diverse range of perspectives was represented, including diverse age groups, ethnicities, genders, income levels, geographies, and different levels of first-hand experience with e-scooters (see Appendix B for anonymized demographics of selected participants across all focus groups). The City also wanted to speak with individuals who have not been otherwise consulted or engaged by the City about e-scooters through another mechanism. Finally, the City wanted to speak with individuals over the age of 16 to consult only those that are legally allowed by the Ontario Highway Traffic Act (regulation 389/19) to operate an e-scooter.

Recruitment & selection process

Working closely with the City of Toronto, Swerhun Inc. led the recruitment and selection process of the focus groups. Outlined below is the sequence of events for executing the recruitment process.

An independent website was developed for the sole purpose of recruiting focus group participants. The website included background information, purpose of the focus groups, key information about the focus groups (including focus group dates, times, and general location, compensation of $40 for selected participants, eligibility to participate, submission deadline, and contact person), and a webform with questions to collect information about interested participants to determine their eligibility. The recruitment questions were reviewed by City staff. See Appendix A for sample images of the recruitment website.

A contact list drawn from publicly available information was developed. Over 750 organizations and businesses with an interest in urban issues and mobility were identified. The organizations and businesses identified represented a range of sectors, including: area-specific and/or interest-specific advocacy groups (residents associations, friends of groups, faith-based groups, dog walkers, recreation, environmental advocacy groups, seniors, youth, heritage organizations, economic development organizations, arts organizations, Indigenous organizations, food banks, and many more; community service, shelter, and support (community services and health); accessibility; active transportation and transportation; local businesses and local retailers of electric mobility devices, and; academic organizations.

Invitations to participate in the focus groups were emailed to organizations and businesses. They were asked to either fill out the webform attached in the email or share it with others that might be interested. Recipients had the opportunity to opt-out of receiving further emails and request removal from the email distribution list.

The initial recruitment website and invitation email required interested individuals to be between the ages of 16 70 and to have completed the webform to be eligible to participate in the focus groups. Based on feedback received from email recipients, the maximum age limit was removed, meaning participants were eligible to participate if they were over the age of 16.

By the end of the submission deadline, approximately 187 people registered their interest to participate.

A three-step screening process was developed to identify who was eligible to participate:
Step 1: screen out those who were not available on either evening identified in the website, those affiliated with groups already consulted by the City through other means, and those whose self-identification answers did not qualify them for the target focus group categories.
Step 2: ensure the remaining eligible individuals represented a range of demographics, such as age group, gender, ethnicity, income range, geographies and first-hand experience with e-scooters.
Step 3: for focus groups that received a high volume of eligible participants (pedestrians/transit riders, cyclists, and drivers), further screening was done to ensure selected individuals represented a range of characteristics (e.g. if they used assistive devices such as a cane/walker/motorized wheelchair to get around, if they had any visual/hearing impairments, if they frequently travelled with baby carriers/strollers, if there were any children below the age of 16 in their household, and if anyone in their household owned a dog).
NOTE: The first priority with recruitment was to ensure as much participation as possible from each interest-specific group.

After the selected participants were identified and reviewed by the City, they received an email notifying them that they were selected to participate in a particular focus group and requesting their confirmation to attend. Key information participants needed to now before the meeting was also provided (e.g. confirmed date, time, and location).

Individuals who were not selected to participate were also notified by email. They were informed that although they were not selected to participate, they could still share their thoughts on e-scooters and what the City should consider as it explores if/how there could be a role for e-scooters in Toronto by emailing Janet Lo, Transportation Services, City staff leading the e-scooter research study.

Focus group process

Between February 12th and February 13th, approximately 27 people participated in the focus groups. The focus groups were organized to represent five interest-specific groups: cyclists, drivers, local business owners/managers, local retailers of electric mobility devices, and pedestrians/transit riders. Each focus group was 55 minutes long and consisted of an overview, introduction, facilitated discussion, and information sharing (see Appendix C for focus group agendas). In each focus group, the discussion was organized into three parts: discussion about participants experiences and perceptions of e-scooters; discussion about if/how to pilot e-scooters, and; discussion about changes to perceptions (if any) based on information and statistics shared about e-scooters. The information and statistics shared was provided by City staff and included statistics highlighting potential benefits, potential risks, and neutral information about e-scooters (see Appendix D).

Overall observations

The following points summarize the facilitation teams observations about which topics emerged consistently across all five focus groups as well as the range of perspectives participants shared within those topics. These observations are drawn from the five individual focus group summaries, also written by the facilitation team, which were subject to participant review prior to being finalized. They should be read in conjunction with the individual meeting summaries that follow and are not intended to imply consensus between participants, either within or across any given focus group(s).

1. Potential benefits and opportunities of e-scooters. Participants identified a number of potential benefits and opportunities e-scooters could bring to the city, including (but not limited to): a new, convenient mode of transportation; an alternative to driving (that could help address congestion); a first-and-last-mile solution; an opportunity to improve mobility equity across the city (if they are deployed in areas with limited or infrequent connections to transit, like the suburbs), and; transit relief, both generally and as a supplement to shuttle buses during significant delays.

2. Potential risks of e-scooters. Participants identified a number of potential risks e-scooters could bring to the city, including (but not limited to): safety and injury issues due to a lack of appropriate road infrastructure for e-scooters and potential for pedestrian collisions if e-scooters are ridden on sidewalks; additional chaos on Torontos streets, especially if there is no increase in enforcement; competition and conflicts with other road users depending where they are allowed (e.g. bike lanes); clutter from lack of designated parking for dockless e-scooters; small tires of e-scooters hitting potholes, debris or snow; concerns about potential criminal behavior (e.g. impaired e-scootering); and risk of losing control because of the minimal effort required by users to operate them (i.e. use of a throttle button).

3. Key considerations participants said the City should keep in mind as it explores a potential role for e-scooters in Toronto.

Public safety. While participants generally agreed safety was important, they shared a range of perspectives on if/how the City should consider safety when exploring a role for e-scooters in Toronto. Some said the City should not consider a new mode of transportation unless/until enforcement and/or infrastructure improves on Torontos streets. Others said the City could explore a role for e-scooters in Toronto as long as it considered/developed controls for things like: where e-scooters should and should not go; whether protective gear (e.g. helmets) is required or not; what type of education/training might be required (both for e-scooter riders and for the broader public), and other topics.

Enforcement. Participants generally agreed that enforcement of the rules of the road is important whether the City decides to pilot e-scooters or not. Many participants said that existing traffic enforcement is lacking, and they were concerned that the lack of enforcement would be a challenge for e-scooters as well. Enforcement-related topics participants suggested the City consider when exploring a role for e-scooters included e-scooter licensing and/or identifiers (with mixed opinions on whether these types of approaches would be effective and/or feasible) and the cost of enforcement (whether paid for by e-scooter companies or the public).

What role e-scooters should have in the broader transportation system. Many participants said they saw potential for e-scooters to have a role in Torontos transportation system, though some were concerned that City resources dedicated to accommodating e-scooters might draw resources from other transportation modes, like cycling. Among those that supported the City exploring a role for e-scooters, some said the City should be strategic in thinking about what specific role(s) e-scooters should have in the context of the Citys broader transportation objectives and then design the pilot to fulfill that role(s).

If/how to use Torontos existing street infrastructure. Participants said that, because Torontos streets were not designed for vehicles like e-scooters, the City should think carefully about if/how there is room for them. Some participants felt that Torontos streets are already struggling to accommodate existing modes and that adding e-scooters to the mix could make matters worse. Others suggested (but did not necessarily agree on) other ways to accommodate e-scooters, including identifying dedicated lanes for e-scooters and other alternative mobility devices and/or re-allocating space from other uses (such as car and/or parking lanes),

Protecting public space. Most participants agreed that the City would need to consider and identify ways to protect public space if it allows an e-scooter pilot. Several participants said they perceived e-scooter clutter and/or litter to be big issues in jurisdictions that have allowed them, while others said some cities have addressed these challenges through strategies like identifying dedicated parking areas, software geo-fencing, and pick up staff that collect discarded e-scooters. Several said that the City should consider requiring e-scooter parking in private spaces and/or parking spaces (as opposed to sidewalks and/or parks).

A tailored approach to different areas. Among those that were willing to consider a role for e-scooters in Toronto, there were suggestions for the City to consider the influence of different road characteristics in different areas (e.g the fact that sidewalks are wider in the suburbs, the fact that some streets are used for recreation while others are for transportation) when determining if/how to accommodate them.

Sustainability and environmental considerations. Participants shared a range of opinions on e-scooters potential sustainability and environmental benefits/drawbacks. Some said e-scooters could be a great way to get people out of cars and reduce vehicle emissions; others were skeptical of e-scooters purported environmental benefits and said they would like the City to analyze e-scooters whole life cycle, including manufacturing, how long they typically last, if/how theyre recycled, and e-scooter companies operational impacts (e.g. driving cars to redistribute e-scooters).

Feedback shared in the CYCLISTS focus group

Experiences, understanding, and perceptions
Participants had a range of experiences with e-scooters, including having visited cities where they are in use, seeing them on social media, having friends who own one, and from seeing kids riding them in Torontos sidewalks. Participants who saw e-scooters in other cities did not try riding them because they looked unsteady, “made me feel unsafe,” and the rental system would not take their credit card for payment. They used words like surprisingly fast and surprisingly quiet to describe them. They also saw dockless e-scooters littering sidewalks and in bike lanes.

Potential benefits / opportunities participants identified included: e-scooters could be an alternative to cars; a first-and-last mile solution, and; could help reduce traffic congestion. Potential risks / concerns participants identified included: lack of motor noise makes e-scooters difficult to hear, which could pose a safety risk for cyclists and pedestrians (particularly for the elderly); unpredictable movements, high speeds, and the differential in speed between throttle and human-powered cycling; clutter on streets; safety issues due to challenging road conditions (e.g. snow banks, potholes, debris) and the small wheels of e-scooters being vulnerable to these road conditions, and; riding e-scooters in areas with narrow spaces.

When asked whether they would feel comfortable recommending a loved one use e-scooters, participants mostly said no because of the lack of safe and connected infrastructure in Toronto to support e-scooters and lack of training to use e-scooters. One participant said that if e-scooter speed was limited to 10 km/h on multi-use paths like Martin Goodman Trail and e-scooter use was limited to off-peak times when it is not crowded with pedestrians, kids and tourists/busy event times, they would be comfortable recommending them.

Participants also shared thoughts about e-scooters from the perspective of a cyclist:
E-scooters could compete with bikes and pedestrians for space. Cyclists already compete with e-bikes in bike lanes e-scooters would be another vehicle taking space intended for cyclists. E-scooter riders will also likely ride on sidewalks, even if not allowed.
Road infrastructure needs to change, regardless of whether e-scooters are introduced. Participants were concerned about the safety of Torontos streets for pedestrians and cyclists and said adding a new mode of transportation to Torontos streets without improving the infrastructure is risky and would increase already highly stressful conditions on streets. Some said the City should focus first on stronger enforcement to better protect pedestrians and cyclists and on creating a minimum grid of cycling infrastructure rather than finding a way to accommodate e-scooters.

Advice on if/how to accommodate e-scooters
Participants suggested considerations for the City to keep in mind as it explores if/how there is a role for e-scooters in Toronto:
The City needs to provide adequately wide, safe, dedicated infrastructure for e-scooters/micro-mobility. The City recently declared a climate emergency. E-scooters could be a great way to get people out of cars and reduce vehicle emissions. However, proper infrastructure is needed for people to feel safe getting around on e-scooters. Road space in Toronto is limited, so if the City decides to create space for e-scooters, something will have to give (e.g. space for cars) the City cannot squish more modes into limited space. Consider giving a tax break or credit to people who use bikes, transit, and other non-car modes.
Provide dedicated parking spaces or docking stations to avoid e-scooter clutter on streets and provide more predictability about where they are parked. E-scooter parking should be on streets and car parking spaces, not sidewalks.
The City should create a safe space and provide training before piloting e-scooters to avoid accidents or injuries to riders and conflicts with other road users.
Tailored approaches for different areas. Instead of taking a blanket approach to accommodating e-scooters, the City should take a tailored approach for different areas that considers factors like pedestrian and vehicle traffic, what a street is commonly used for (e.g. mobility or recreation), width of the street, the speed limit, and driver behaviour.
Consider using e-scooters as transit relief vehicles and as a last mile solution. E-scooters could help alleviate congestion on the Yonge subway and supplement shuttle buses during significant delays. Consider providing e-scooter fleets at transit stations and explore integrating payment with the PRESTO system.
Consider the acceleration profile of e-scooters versus the average cyclist in safety standards for e-scooters. E-scooters accelerate by throttle, not human power and this affects their interaction with cyclists when starting up at intersections after being stopped at traffic lights, and also the passing behaviour of e-scooter riders in bike lanes. Do not make helmets mandatory, since that could deter use.
Rely on e-scooter data from North American cities instead of European cities; North American cities design and transportation patterns are more relevant to Toronto.
Consider a role for other mobility devices that would support the growing ageing population, including a fleet of tricycles.
Required lighting on e-scooters. The City should require e-scooters lights are always on.
Consider a role for e-scooters on campuses to help students travel between classes.

How e-scooter statistics influenced participants perspectives
After hearing some statistics about e-scooters, some participants reinforced their feedback that the City needs to improve existing infrastructure before introducing e-scooters. Participants also asked questions about the statistics, including questions about: which areas of other cities e-scooters have been deployed; the cause of e-scooter rider injuries (e.g. collisions with cars vs. with other modes); whether there is information on what modes were replaced by the 2/3 of trips that did not replace car trips; the road surface type where accidents happened, and; who is promoting e-scooters as environmentally-friendly modes of transportation (e.g. does this claim come only from e-scooter companies?).

Other feedback
The City should invest resources on concrete infrastructure for plans that are already well-researched and supported (e.g. 10 Year Cycling Plan) before investing those resources on adding micro-mobility devices like e-scooters. Research has shown that 76% of people are too afraid to ride a bike and both Vision Zero and Vision Zero 2.0 are not changing this fear.

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Feedback shared in the DRIVERS focus group

Experiences, understanding, and perceptions
Participants had a range of experiences with e-scooters, including having visited cities where they are in use, seeing videos of them on social media, and having learned of them for the first time through the focus group notice. They said they understood e-scooters are used for things like food delivery, entertainment, tourist transportation, and short trips for locals in cities. They used words like fun, erratic, tempting, fast, clutter, and scary to describe them, reflecting attitudes ranging from curiosity and interest to concern.

Potential benefits / opportunities participants identified included: the fact that a rider doesnt need to worry about parking; speed and convenience, and; the potential to provide more transportation options to help get people out of cars. Potential risks participants identified included: decreased pedestrian safety (due to e-scooters speed, quick acceleration, weight, and unpredictable movements); potential for more chaos on Torontos streets (given the citys on-going struggles with road safety and the lack of enforcement); competition and conflicts with other road users (since Torontos road network is not designed for e-scooters and e-scooter riders may want to use bike lanes and/or sidewalks), and; clutter (especially from dockless e-scooter rental services).

When asked whether they would feel comfortable recommending a loved one use e-scooters, participants responses were mixed. Most said no, saying e-scooters are unsafe, especially if the rider isnt wearing a helmet and/or is riding Downtown or in a busy area. Some said yes, saying they would feel comfortable as long as the rider had been properly trained and/or was riding in a designated/restricted safe area.

Participants also shared thoughts about e-scooters from the perspective of a driver:
E-scooters could result in increased driver anxiety. It is scary to be a driver in Toronto, especially Downtown. Drivers are already afraid of injuring other, erratic road users, and adding unpredictable e-scooters may make this anxiety worse.
Theres potential for more collisions, especially if e-scooters do not handle well in snow and when people have poorer visibility such as when it is raining or dark outside.
Risks of an aging population. As baby boomers age, their vision and reaction times decrease. Mixing e-scooters with this demographic seems risky.

Advice on if/how to accommodate e-scooters
Participants suggested considerations the City keep in mind as it explores if/how there is a role for e-scooters in Toronto:
Public safety and education. If the City decides to allow piloting e-scooters, there would need to be a safety and education campaign reminding everyone to share the road and teaching people to ride e-scooters safely.
Enforcement mechanisms. If the City and/or police are not willing to increase enforcement resources, the City either should not allow e-scooters or should require e-scooter companies to subsidize enforcement costs.
Public space protections, including preventing clutter from dockless e-scooters and protect older pedestrians (e.g., my grandmother) on narrow sidewalks from e-scooter riders. For e-scooter systems that uses docks, the City should ensure docks are installed in parking spaces or private property, not public spaces (like parks or pedestrian clearways).
Learn from the experiences of other cities, like Paris, New York City, and Chicago.
Understand what real benefits (if any) e-scooters bring. How many car trips do they displace? E-scooters may actually remove more bicycles and/or transit trips than car trips. Consider piloting/restricting e-scooters to where they might be most effective at removing cars (like university campuses, GO parking lots).
Consider different approaches for different areas of the City. Sidewalks in the suburbs are wider and less-used compared to Downtown, so it might be safer to allow people to ride the e-scooters on sidewalks in the suburbs (but not downtown).
Pilot outside Downtown to fill a first mile / last mile gap, improve transportation equity, and demonstrate a different kind of approach to e-scooters to the world.
Have fewer operators or integration of multiple private operators services on one same app so multiple vendors are not competing for and/or cluttering the city.
Avoiding legal challenges from e-scooter companies. E-scooter companies have taken municipalities to court to allow their operation, citing the need to allow competition. Any pilot should be designed to prevent this type of legal challenge.
Adapting road infrastructure, such as smart streetlights that brighten during the darkest and busiest times of the year.
Preference for a BikeShare model for a pilot, which gives the City more control. Explore dedicated alternative transportation lanes to reduce conflicts.
The role for helmets. Some felt helmets for e-scooters should not be mandatory (since they are not mandatory for cyclists and could create a barrier); others thought they should be.

How e-scooter statistics influenced participants perspectives
After hearing some statistics about e-scooters, participants reiterated the importance of having dedicated and separated lanes for cyclists and e-scooters, enforcement, penalties, and training if the City decides to identify a role for e-scooters in Toronto. Participants were also concerned about people riding e-scooters while impaired; the City would need to think through ways to prevent this behaviour. Participants reinforced the potential of piloting e-scooters where they have the greatest potential to reduce car trips, especially the suburbs.

Several questioned whether e-scooters are environmentally-friendly, saying the City should engage a third party to review this claim. This review should analyze e-scooters whole life cycle, including their manufacturing, how long e-scooters typically last, if/how theyre recycled, and e-scooter companies operational impacts (e.g. driving cars to redistribute e-scooters).

Other feedback
Support for the Citys careful approach, including hosting these focus groups. Private e-scooter companies business can have a significant public impact, so it is important not to take a knee-jerk reaction one way or the other.

Feedback shared in the LOCAL BUSINESS focus group

Experiences, understanding, and perceptions
Participants had a range of experiences with e-scooters, including having visited cities where they are in use, hearing about them in the media, and seeing people use them in the Beaches. One participant said that it seems cities are still working out where e-scooters should be in their mobility system.

Potential benefits / opportunities participants identified included: they are a convenient mode of transportation; an alternative to driving; a happy medium between car ownership and bikes; less physically intensive than bikes, and; there is no license requirement to use them. Potential risks / concerns participants identified included: Vision Zero safety and injury issues due to lack of appropriate road infrastructure for e-scooters and risk of sidewalk riding and pedestrian collisions; small tires of e-scooters getting stuck in potholes or snow banks; clutter from lack of designated parking spaces; concerns about potential criminal behavior; reduced user-control because of the minimal effort required to operate them; lack of education about how to use e-scooters, particularly for tourists; potential for accidents during late night use (due to reduced visibility and impaired riding), and; lack of accessibility to people with mobility issues (e.g. people who has difficulty standing for long periods).

When asked whether they would feel comfortable recommending a loved one use e-scooters, participants responses were mixed. Those that said no said they would not recommend using them because e-scooters do not have safety features like doors/airbag built into them; the only safety feature is a helmet (if a rider is even wearing one). They also said they wouldnt recommend using them Downtown, on sidewalks, or in parks. Those that said yes would do so if they are used in a designated area and if the users are over a certain age, and that its no different than an e-skateboard. Others said they were unsure, saying it depends on the person and whether they are able to properly use and control the e-scooter.

Participants also shared thoughts about e-scooters from the perspective of a local business owner/manager:
The impact of e-scooters on businesses will depend on the business clientele/ audience. E-scooters might help some businesses (e.g. where the customers dont have to carry lots of bags) but wont necessarily be either positive or negative for many businesses.
E-scooters could help customers get to businesses faster by allowing customers to get around quickly and park anywhere, but this depends on their clientele (e.g. demographic).
Avoid impacting existing car parking. If the City is designating parking areas for e-scooters, avoid removing car parking to avoid impacting customers who are drivers.
Being located on a street with dedicated infrastructure helps (e.g. bike lanes on Richmond St).

Advice on if/how to accommodate e-scooters
Participants suggested considerations for the City to keep in mind as it explores if/how there is a role for e-scooters in Toronto:
Education for all road users, not just e-scooter riders. It is important for the City to educate all road users on where e-scooters fit in the Citys road infrastructure to reduce conflicts between different road users. Tourists should also be educated to reduce confusion on how the road system works in Toronto. Consider hosting training (like Can-Bike courses) at City Hall/each civic centre to teach proper use of e-scooters to reduce injuries.
Do not allow e-scooters on sidewalks or in parks for pedestrians safety, particularly the elderly and children. E-scooters (and other e-mobility devices) should have dedicated lanes.
Explore creating limitations, including limiting maximum speed and restricting night use.
Enforcement should be carefully planned. There should be a place for people to report and have issues addressed. Toronto Police Services is already understaffed and would lack the resources to enforce rules for e-scooters, so the City should consider having a third party enforce e-scooter rules. Los Angeles might be a good model to consider for enforcement.
Designate different zones in the city with different speed limits and have e-scooters automatically regulate the speed when they get into a certain zone (using geo-fencing).
Who is using them? Are they used by younger people, older people, or a range of ages?
Consider how e-scooters impact other modes. For example, if e-scooters are allowed in bike lanes, what is their impact on cyclists? If the City is investing resources into accommodating e-scooters, are there fewer resources allocated to cycling?
Understand the overall benefit and risk to assess if the investment (e.g. cost to taxpayers related to enforcement and policing) is worth the benefit(s) they provide.
Road conditions. Some streets in Toronto are bumpy and have many potholes (e.g. Dufferin St) and need repaving or it could present safety challenges for e-scooter users due to its small wheels.
Deploy e-scooters in the suburbs or less dense areas to provide a first-and-last-mile solution and a convenient way to get around suburban neighbourhoods.
Provide docking stations or designated parking spaces to prevent e-scooters from cluttering streets.
Require the use of helmets. E-scooter riders should be required to wear helmets to protect against head injuries. Some acknowledged that requiring helmets could be difficult given the lack of a place to store them and the likely spontaneous use of e-scooters.
Require e-scooter sharing companies to have insurance coverage for users. For example, Uber covers people who are injured or in an accident while using the service.
Consider requiring registration and insurance for privately owned electric mobility devices (e.g. e-motorcyles, e-bicycles, and e-scooters).
Embrace change. Some participants said e-scooter is like ride-hailing apps (e.g. Uber and Lyft) and the City should embrace change and figure out how it can work for everyone.

How e-scooter statistics influenced participants perspectives
After hearing some statistics about e-scooters, several participants said e-scooters could be a good idea in Toronto because they have the potential to replace a good percentage of car use, and could provide another mode of transportation for people who do not like cycling and/or do not own a car. However, some participants were concerned about the high number of head injuries and the possibility for severe trauma. They also said that e-scooters do not seem to replace car or bike use, but rather are another option to get from A to B faster for short trips (i.e. not replacing a 15min drive). Participants said the statistics reinforced their suggestion that education will be important in helping people get over the learning curve in the first few trips and understand the need for helmets.

Feedback shared in the LOCAL RETAILERS OF ELECTRIC MICROMOBILITY DEVICES focus group

Experiences, understanding, and perceptions
Two participants sold e-scooters in their stores (including both kids and adult models as well as e-hoverboards) while one sold bicycles and e-bikes, and provided repair services for bicycles. Participants experiences with e-scooters also included seeing them in Prague. The retailers of e-mobility devices said customers ask questions about how long e-scooters batteries last and how far they could go, what their warranty period is, whether their tires have tubes, the restrictions around riding them (e.g. minimum age), and how fast they go. They also said customers have typically already heard about e-scooters before they come into the store (usually through advertising or at school); the purpose of customers visit is to see one in person. The e-scooters they sell do not have software applications and sell for $499, which has not been an issue for customers. Customers tend to prefer lighter e-scooters and e-scooters that fold up, but do not have any preference for brand or tire type. Customers have been telling retailers that they use them for the first / last mile in their trips, recreation, and entertainment. The retailer whose shop does not sell e-scooters said that customers have not been asking about them.

When asked whether they would feel comfortable recommending anyone use e-scooters, participants were unsure since they do not know what the rules are for using e-scooters. Some said that they would recommend others use them on the condition that e-scooters are not used on the sidewalk (since e-scooters weigh as much as bikes and should be treated like bicycles). Potential benefits / opportunities participants identified included: e-scooters might provide more transportation options; e-scooters might be more theft resistant than bikes (since they fold up), and; e-scooters might be more convenient than a bike (since a rider could more easily fold one up and take it on transit even during rush hours). Participants said it is difficult to comment on the pros & cons of e-scooters in the abstract: the City should instead ask what its transportation objectives are and whether e-scooters help achieve them.

Advice on if/how to accommodate e-scooters
Participants suggested considerations the City keep in mind as it explores if/how there is a role for e-scooters in Toronto:
Impacts of regulation on privately-owned e-scooters and local retailers. The City should consider how its approach to regulating big e-scooter sharing companies might impact privately-owned e-scooters and local retailers of e-mobility devices. Participants said it would be unfortunate for private owners of e-scooters and retailers of e-scooters to be impacted by regulations aiming to fix issues from the big e-scooter sharing companies (as has happened in Alberta). Regulations developed based considerations like the size of e-scooter sharing companies fleets, the durability of their vehicles, and wear-and-tear on their vehicles might overlook considerations unique to private owners of e-scooters and/or retailers of mobility devices.
The same rules should apply to bikes and e-scooters. For example, if the City is going to allow them, e-scooters should be required to use the road and banned from sidewalks and parks because of the risk of collisions with people.
Industry standards. Participants had mixed opinions about industry standards. While standards can be a headache for manufacturers, they could be beneficial to create consistency and responsibility. If the City does pursue or advocate for industry standards (e.g. for turning radius, weight, material strength, durability, etc.), there should be different standards for different types of e-scooters (e.g. kids vs. adult e-scooters). There would also need to be a system to enforce standards, such as limiting 750 watt e-scooters (which are not legal).
E-scooter warranties and maintenance. Participants said it is up to private individual e-scooter owners to obtain replacement parts and fix the e-scooters themselves. The existing warranty period for some products is two months.
Learn from others. For example, the dockless e-scooter and e-bike pilot project has not been working well in other cities (companies did not conform to the Citys requirements). Toronto should learn from that experience to avoid similar challenges.
Avoiding clutter and scooter mayhem. In many cities, e-scooters end up littering streets, public spaces, and lakes; so there needs to be some control to manage potential nuisances. Recommend that Toronto city staff learn from other cities to consider how to avoid similar negative impacts here.
Ways to prevent impaired riding. Impaired riding of e-scooters has been an issue in some cities; Toronto should learn how other cities have approached and prevented this behaviour.
Different uses & users. Its likely there will be two types of uses for e-scooters: commuting and entertainment/recreation. Most people will likely fit into the entertainment/recreation category since the speed and battery life of e-scooters make them less practical over the long distances faced by many commuters. The City should also consider who is using e-scooters (such as students, transit users, etc.).
Education will be important, especially in terms of encouraging people to wear helmets and discouraging tourists from going at top speed in pedestrian zones/busy pedestrian areas.
Consider the political challenges of building infrastructure for e-scooters and/or bikes. For example, some people may get upset if the City builds more dedicated lanes for bikes and/or e-scooters. However, without dedicated lanes, cyclists and e-scooter riders may be in danger of getting hit by cars.
The pros and cons of e-scooters will depend on the Citys goals and objectives. The benefits/risks of e-scooters will depend on the what the City is trying to achieve (e.g. to use along transit or replace transit) and who will use e-scooters (e.g. students, transit users, novice riders).
Limit the top speed. Some said the 15 mph (24 km/h) top speed should be maintained.

How e-scooter statistics influenced participants perspectives
After hearing some statistics about e-scooters, participants said they were interested in understanding how the statistics compare to e-bikes, especially when it applies to injuries, to help put them in context. Some said the statistics were confusing and seemed to be mixing apples and oranges, such as statistics that compared the percentage of injuries between different municipalities even though each municipality might have different fleet sizes. Some said they would expect head injuries would be higher on e-scooters since people might be more inclined to use an e-scooter spontaneously.

Feedback shared in the PEDESTRIAN / TRANSIT RIDERS focus group

Experiences, understanding, and perceptions
Participants had a range of experiences with e-scooters, including having lived in and visited cities where they are in use (e.g. Tel Aviv, San Diego), seeing them in pop culture, having personally used them, and having no personal experience with them. Some participants saw them being used on either sidewalks or on the streets (depending on the city). Those that had personal experience riding them (all male) and/or lived in cities where they are used said that e-scooters are a wonderful, fast, and convenient way to travel. They said its easier (and cheaper) to navigate an unfamiliar city via e-scooter than via public transit (especially where you don’t speak the language and it’s hard to navigate public transit). Participants also said e-scooters work best in cities that do not get snow (or where snow is cleared immediately) and in cities with wide streets or sidewalks. Those that had visited cities where they are in use but did not ride them said they had experienced e-scooters passing them quickly while cycling in bike lanes. Some said they saw e-scooters as “unnerving”, “stealthy”, litter, broken, and abandoned on streets; others said that, in some cities, private companies have developed ways to prevent the litter issue, including app / software updates (requiring e-scooters be left in designated areas), hiring staff to tend to e-scooters overnight, and identifying designated parking areas.

Potential benefits / opportunities participants identified with e-scooters included: they can be a cheaper transportation option when transit is not working or unavailable; they are a convenient and fast way to get around, and; may benefit from being integrated with transit. Potential risks / concerns participants identified included: lack of appropriate infrastructure (such as narrow, unprotected bike lanes); e-scooters are very quiet making them potentially dangerous for pedestrians (if allowed on sidewalks); impaired riding, and; lack of familiarity on how to use/control e-scooters, especially for novice riders.

When asked whether they would feel comfortable recommending a loved one use e-scooters, participants responses were mixed. Those who said they would be comfortable said they would only do so if e-scooters were not allowed on sidewalks and were used on streets with safe, well-maintained (“as long as streets are cleaned”) and appropriate infrastructure or in areas with no/little car traffic (such as the suburbs or King Street). Those who said they would not be comfortable cited the lack of infrastructure and having “no safety buffer”, lack of traffic law enforcement on Torontos streets, and the dangerous habits of drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians.

Participants also shared thoughts about e-scooters from the perspective of a pedestrian / transit rider:
E-scooters could be integrated into the TTC to serve as a last mile solution for pedestrians / transit riders and/or could help distribute the load from the transit system.
Carefully consider the impact of e-scooters (using throttle) on people with mobility issues and people with baby strollers.
Using e-scooters in the suburbs as a last mile solution is a good idea, but the City needs to identify where e-scooters would fit in the existing infrastructure. If its illegal to cycle on sidewalks, it should be the same for e-scooters, but riding on streets in the suburbs is unsafe since cars move faster and take up most of the street.
Potential for e-scooter riders to blow past open streetcar doors. Enforcement would be needed to discourage this behaviour, which is already a problem with other road users. Advice on if/how to accommodate e-scooters
Participants suggested considerations for the City to keep in mind as it explores if/how there is a role for e-scooters in Toronto:
E-scooters should not be allowed on sidewalks for pedestrians safety, especially kids and the elderly. E-scooters should be restricted to streets and have the same regulation as e-bikes in terms of speed limit.
Plan for and provide enough infrastructure space, especially if e-scooters are not allowed on sidewalks, and if more people use e-bikes and e-scooters, consider the threshold where more space is needed for micromobility infrastructure.
Provide education and training on e-scooters and promote an awareness campaign about general road safety. Currently, there is a general lack of knowledge about road safety. Adding a new mode of transportation on the streets will require all road users to be properly informed on how to keep the road safe for everyone. Consider closing streets with bike lanes (e.g. Bloor Street) to car traffic in summer to allow people to learn how to properly use e-scooters since some participants said “at first it’s shaky when learning to use e-scooters”.
Consider whether there is a role for identifiers or license plates on e-scooters. Some felt strongly that an identifier would be important in supporting enforcement of the rules of the road; others said requiring licensing of e-scooters could initiate a move to require licensing for every form of transportation, which has been proven to be impractical.
Prevent people from using e-scooters to bypass PRESTO fare machines. A participant was concerned people would use e-scooters for fare evasion, especially in transit stations where the bus bay is easily accessed from the sidewalk (e.g. Bathurst Station).
Understand how e-scooters could impact the transportation habits of transit riders, including whether e-scooters are intended to replace or supplement transit and whether e-scooters are suitable for longer distances or inclement weather. Understanding these impacts would help the City understand if e-scooters are replacing driving trips or are only being used instead of walking or short transit trips.

How e-scooter statistics influenced participants perspectives
After hearing some statistics about e-scooters, participants generally said the statistics reinforced their thoughts about both the benefits and risks of e-scooters. Some said the statistics made them feel e-scooters are more of a novelty device than a new mode of transportation, while others said the statistics revealed that e-scooters are useful for day-to-day travel and could serve as a new mode of transportation (e.g. if you have a 5km commute or need to get to a transit station and buses are infrequent). Some said they are concerned about impaired or drunk e-scootering. Some said that, if the City allows e-scooters in Toronto, riders should be required to wear a helmet but unsure how helmets would be distributed; others said they would not like helmet use to be required (given cyclists above the age of 18 are not required to wear helmets and requiring helmets for e-scooter use could present logistical and administrative barriers to their use). Participants also asked questions about the e-scooter statistics, including interest in understanding: absolute values (not just percentages); the cause of collisions reported, and; what percentage of the population in the cities surveyed used e-scooters.

Appendices
Appendix A Recruitment e-mail, website, and questionnaire

Recruitment e-mail

Subject: Seeking Focus Group Participants: City of Toronto E-scooter Research

Youre receiving this email because the City of Toronto and our Swerhun team think your organization or people in your organizations network may potentially be interested in participating in a focus group about e-scooters in Toronto. Our Swerhun team regularly works on consultations in Toronto and knows organizations and/or businesses like yours pay close attention to urban issues, including issues around mobility. We looked up your contact information online to send you this email if you would prefer not to receive further emails about this e-scooter focus group research process, please respond and let us know so we can remove you from this email distribution list.

Hello,

We are looking for Toronto residents and representatives of local businesses to participate in one of five one-hour focus groups to help the City of Toronto understand the publics knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions about electric kick-scooters or e-scooters.

Dates and times: One hour in the evening of either February 12 or February 13 (beginning at either 6:00, 7:00, or 8:00 p.m.)
Location of focus groups: Downtown Toronto (Queen and Spadina) eligible applicants will receive detailed information
Compensation: Participants who attend an entire 1-hour focus group will receive a $40 honorarium
Eligibility: Participants must be between the ages of 16-70 and have completed the web form linked below to be considered eligible to participate. Note that not all eligible participants will be necessarily invited to participate.
How to register your interest: Complete this brief online form no later than Friday, February 7, 2020

More details:
An e-scooter is a two-wheeled electric-powered device, where the rider stands on a narrow board holding a handlebar (see picture below). As of January 1, 2020, the Government of Ontario has given cities the option to test e-scooters on public roads, trails, parks and sidewalks. Staff from the City of Torontos Transportation Services are preparing a report for City Council with advice on if/how to proceed with exploring a role for e-scooters in Toronto. The focus groups are one of multiple research inputs informing this report, including staff research, a phone survey, stakeholder consultation, and consultation with the e-scooter industry.

If you are interested in participating in one of the focus groups (or know someone between the ages of 16-70 who might be), please either share or complete the online web form. Click the link below to access the online web form it only takes 2 minutes to complete. The focus group research team will notify eligible individuals no later than February 7.

www.e-scooterfocusgroup.com

Thank you for your interest. We look forward to your participation.

Khly Lamparero, Swerhun Inc.
Firm retained by the City of Toronto to conduct the e-scooter focus groups (416) 572-4365
[email protected]

Recruitment website

Recruitment questionnaire

1. How often do you walk to get to destinations or for recreation? Daily
Several times a week
Weekly
Several times a month
Monthly
Less than once a month
Never

2. On most days, do you walk or use an assistive device such as a cane/walker/motorized wheelchair to get around? Yes
No

3. How often do you take public transit?
Daily
Several times a week
Weekly
Several times a month
Monthly
Less than once a month
Never

4. Do you travel frequently with baby carriers/strollers? Yes
No

5. How often do you ride a bike to get to destinations or for recreation? Daily
Several times a week
Weekly
Several times a month
Monthly
Less than once a month
Never

6. How often do you drive?
Daily
Several times a week
Weekly
Several times a month
Monthly
Less than once a month
Never

7. Do you own or run a business establishment in the city of Toronto (e.g. restaurant or store selling goods/services)? Yes
No

8. Do you own or run a business establishment selling bicycles, electric bicycles, kick-style e-scooters and electric motorcycles/e-mopeds? Yes
No

9. Do you have any visual impairments?
Yes
No

10. Are there any children 16 or younger living in your household? Yes
No

11. Do you or anyone in your household own a dog?
Yes
No

12. Are you a commercially licensed dog walker?
Yes
No

13. Among the following, which have you ever tried using? (Select all that apply) BikeShare Toronto
Bike share system in another city
Pedal assist electric powered-bicycle
Electric-powered bicycle (no pedalling required)
Kick-style e-scooter
None of the above

14. Have you ever been in a city that allows kick style e-scooters? Yes
No

15. Which of these groups do you identify with the most? (choose up to 3) Pedestrian/transit rider
Cyclist
Driver
Local business owner/manager
Local retailer of electric mobility devices (e.g. electric bicycles, kick style e-scooters, electric motorcycles/e-mopeds)

16. Are you a member of any organization/advocacy group? Yes
No
Prefer not to say

17. If you answered yes above, please specify the organization/advocacy group.
______________________

18. What is your age?
15 and below
16 30
31 50
51 70
71 and over

19. What gender do you identify as?
Male
Female
Non-binary/third gender
Other, please specify
Prefer not to say

20. Which area in the City of Toronto do you live in?
Etobicoke York
North York
Scarborough
Toronto and East York
I dont live in the City of Toronto

21. Please specify your ethnicity.
Black (e.g. African, African-Canadian, Caribbean)
East Asian (e.g. Chinese, Japanese, Korean)
First Nations (status, non-status, treaty or non-treaty) Inuit or Métis Latin American (e.g. Colombian, Cuban, Mexican, Peruvian)
Middle Eastern (e.g. Afghan, Iranian, Lebanese, Saudi Arabian, Syrian)
South Asian (e.g. Bangladeshi, Indian, Indian-Caribbean such as Guyanese, Pakistani, Sri Lankan) Southeast Asian (e.g. Filipino, Malaysian, Singaporean, Thai, Vietnamese) White (e.g. English, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Slovakian) More than one race category or mixed race, please describe below Not listed, please describe below
Prefer not to answer

22. What language(s) do you speak? (Select all that apply) English
French
Other, please specify

23. What is your annual household income?
Under $20,000
$20,000 – $49,999
$50,000 – $79,999
$80,000 – $124,999
More than $125,000
Prefer not to say

24. How many years have you lived in the City of Toronto? Less than 1 year
1 2 years
2 5 years
5 10 years
10 20 years
Over 20 years
Dont know/Prefer not to say

25. Please identify which evenings you would be available. Note, eligible individuals are only expected to attend one session. Wednesday, February 12, 2020
Thursday, February 13, 2020
I am available on both evenings
I am NOT available on either evening

26. Please share your contact information below:

First Name:
Phone Number (optional):
Email:

Please note this information will only be used to follow up with you about additional details if you are identified as being eligible to participate on the focus groups.

Make sure to click submit to complete your registration.

This concludes the registration questions. Thank you for taking the time to participate. We will get in touch with you no later than Friday, February 7, 2020 if you have been identified as eligible to participate in a focus group.

Notice of Collection: The personal information is collected under the City of Toronto Act, 2006, s. 136(c) and the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Any personal information collected by a third party vendor acting as an agent for the City of Toronto will only be used for the purpose of scheduling and organizing focus groups to provide feedback to city staff related to e-scooters. With the exception of personal information, all comments will become part of the public record. For more on the City’s commitment to protect the privacy of individuals, see our Corporate Privacy and Security Statement.

Appendix B Summary of selected participant demographics

Outlined below is a breakdown of some of the City-identified key demographics of selected participants.

Age group. Approximately 21% 16-30 year olds; 45% 31-50 year olds; 24% 51-70 year olds, and; 10% 71 and over.

Ethnicity. Approximately 48% non-caucasian and 52% Caucasian.

Income. Approximately 7% under $20,000; 24% $20,000 – $49,000; 17% $50,000 – $79,000; 24% $80,000 – $124,000; 14% more than $125,000, and; 14% preferred not to say.

Gender. Approximately 42% female and 58% male.

Geography. Approximately 79% from Toronto and East York; 14% from Etobicoke York; 3% from North York, and; 3% do not live in Toronto.

Experience with e-scooters. Approximately 59% have been in a city that allow e-scooters, and 41% have not.

Appendix C Focus group agendas

City of Toronto e-Scooter Focus Group
CYCLIST
Alterna Savings Room, CSI Spadina
192 Spadina Avenue, Toronto, ON
Feb 13, 2020

Focus group purpose
To help the City of Toronto understand cyclists knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions about e-scooters.

Agenda
6:00 pm Welcome, introductions, agenda review, quick orientation Swerhun Inc. and City of Toronto
6:05 Discussion: your experiences and perceptions
1. Where and how have you heard about e-scooters? How would you describe them and/or your experience with them?
2. Based on your experience, would you be comfortable recommending a loved one use them? Why or why not?
3. Do you have any specific experiences or perceptions to share from the perspective of a cyclist? 6:20 Discussion: if/how to pilot e-scooters
4. The Province has given the City the ability to pilot e-scooters. What kinds of things do you think the City should consider when exploring if/how they might have a role in Toronto?
5. Thinking as a cyclist, what specific issues, opportunities, or concerns do you want the City to consider (if any)? 6:35 Distribution of info and stats around e-scooters
Swerhun Inc.
6:40 Discussion: changes to perceptions
6. Did any of the information shared change your opinion or attitude about e-scooters or your thoughts on if/how the City should consider exploring a role for them? If so, how? 6:55 Adjourn

City of Toronto e-Scooter Focus Group
DRIVERS
Alterna Savings Room, CSI Spadina
192 Spadina Avenue, Toronto, ON
Feb 12, 2020

Focus group purpose
To help the City of Toronto understand drivers knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions about e-scooters.

Agenda
6:00 pm Welcome, introductions, agenda review, quick orientation Swerhun Inc. and City of Toronto
6:05 Discussion: your experiences and perceptions
1. Where and how have you heard about e-scooters? How would you describe them and/or your experience with them?
2. Based on your experience, would you be comfortable recommending a loved one use them? Why or why not?
3. Do you have any specific experiences or perceptions to share from the perspective of a driver? 6:20 Discussion: if/how to pilot e-scooters
4. The Province has given the City the ability to pilot e-scooters. What kinds of things do you think the City should consider when exploring if/how they might have a role in Toronto?
5. Thinking as a driver, what specific issues, opportunities, or concerns do you want the City to consider (if any)? 6:35 Distribution of info and stats around e-scooters
Swerhun Inc.
6:40 Discussion: changes to perceptions
6. Did any of the information shared change your opinion or attitude about e-scooters or your thoughts on if/how the City should consider exploring a role for them? If so, how? 6:55 Adjourn

City of Toronto e-Scooter Focus Group
LOCAL BUSINESS OWNERS/MANAGERS
Alterna Savings Room, CSI Spadina
192 Spadina Avenue, Toronto, ON
Feb 12, 2020

Focus group purpose
To help the City of Toronto understand local business owners knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions about e-scooters.

Agenda
7:00 pm Welcome, introductions, agenda review, quick orientation Swerhun Inc. and City of Toronto
7:05 Discussion: your experiences and perceptions
1. Where and how have you heard about e-scooters? How would you describe them and/or your experience with them?
2. Based on your experience, would you be comfortable recommending a loved one use them? Why or why not?
3. Do you have any specific experiences or perceptions to share from the perspective of a local business owner? 7:20 Discussion: if/how to pilot e-scooters
4. The Province has given the City the ability to pilot e-scooters. What kinds of things do you think the City should consider when exploring if/how they might have a role in Toronto?
5. Thinking as a local business owner, what specific issues, opportunities, or concerns do you want the City to consider (if any)? 7:35 Distribution of info and stats around e-scooters
Swerhun Inc.
7:40 Discussion: changes to perceptions
6. Did any of the information shared change your opinion or attitude about e-scooters or your thoughts on if/how the City should consider exploring a role for them? If so, how? 7:55 Adjourn

City of Toronto e-Scooter Focus Group
LOCAL RETAILERS OF E-MOBILITY DEVICES
Alterna Savings Room, CSI Spadina
192 Spadina Avenue, Toronto, ON
Feb 12, 2020

Focus group purpose
To help the City of Toronto understand local e-mobility device retailers knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions about e-scooters.

Agenda
8:00 pm Welcome, introductions, agenda review, quick orientation Swerhun Inc. and City of Toronto
8:05 Discussion: your experiences and perceptions as retailers
1. Where and how have your customers heard about e-scooters? What kinds of questions do they ask about them?
2. Based on your experience, would you be comfortable recommending everybody use e-scooters? Why or why not?
3. Do you have any experiences or perceptions to share from the perspective of a local retailer of e-mobility devices? 8:20 Discussion: if/how to pilot e-scooters
4. The Province has given the City the ability to pilot e-scooters. What kinds of things do you think the City should consider when exploring if/how they might have a role in Toronto?
5. Thinking as a retailer of e-mobility devices, what do you see as the risks/benefits to retailers if municipalities and/or the province decide not to make e-scooters legal? (e.g., decide not to pilot or decide not to continue after the pilot period) 8:35 Distribution of info and stats around e-scooters
Swerhun Inc.
8:40 Discussion: changes to perceptions
6. Did any of the information shared change your opinion or attitude about e-scooters or your thoughts on if/how the City should consider exploring a role for them? If so, how? 8:55 Adjourn

City of Toronto e-Scooter Focus Group
PEDESTRIANS / TRANSIT RIDERS
Alterna Savings Room, CSI Spadina
192 Spadina Avenue, Toronto, ON
Feb 13, 2020

Focus group purpose
To help the City of Toronto understand pedestrian & transit riders knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions about e-scooters.

Agenda
7:00 pm Welcome, introductions, agenda review, quick orientation Swerhun Inc. and City of Toronto
7:05 Discussion: your experiences and perceptions
1. Where and how have you heard about e-scooters? How would you describe them and/or your experience with them?
2. Based on your experience, would you be comfortable recommending a loved one use them? Why or why not?
3. Do you have any specific experiences or perceptions to share from the perspective of a pedestrian & transit rider? 7:20 Discussion: if/how to pilot e-scooters
4. The Province has given the City the ability to pilot e-scooters. What kinds of things do you think the City should consider when exploring if/how they might have a role in Toronto?
5. Thinking as a pedestrian & transit rider, what specific issues, opportunities, or concerns do you want the City to consider (if any)? 7:35 Distribution of info and stats around e-scooters
Swerhun Inc.
7:40 Discussion: changes to perceptions
6. Did any of the information shared change your opinion or attitude about e-scooters or your thoughts on if/how the City should consider exploring a role for them? If so, how? 7:55 Adjourn

Appendix D E-scooter statistics shared in focus groups

E-scooter statistics

1. In Paris, a survey of e-scooter riders revealed that 7% rented one almost every day and 38% rented one at least once a week. About 68% said it was a pleasant and fun way to travel and saved them time.

2. Paris and Singapore banned e-scooters from being used on sidewalks. This ban occurred as a result of pedestrian deaths from e-scooter collisions on sidewalks.

3. In Calgary, 1 in 3 trips by e-scooters replaced a car trip. In Paris, 23% of e-scooter trips were combined with another mode like public transit.

4. In the City of Austin, 63% of injuries occurred within the first nine rides of using an e-scooter. About 50% are head injuries and 35% are fractures. Less than 1% wore helmets. (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and City of Austin)

5. E-scooters are promoted as an environmentally-friendly mode and as a way to reduce car traffic.

6. In Chicago, 10 pedestrians were sent to the emergency room after being hit by e-scooter users in their 4 month pilot project. There was a total of 192 emergency room visits related to e-scooters in these 4 months.

7. In Paris, 44% of e-scooters riders used bicycle lanes, 35% used roadways, and 19% used sidewalks. 82% said they wanted to use bicycle lanes for e-scooters.

Attachment 4: Views of Toronto Residents on E-Scooters (Summary Report)?

This study was commissioned by the City of Toronto and the research was conducted by Nanos Research. This report summarizes the observations based on an online nonprobability panel survey of 1,010 Toronto residents, 16 years or older, between January 23rd and February 1st, 2020.

Sampling plan: To achieve the best representation, the sample was structured to the natural geographic distribution of Toronto based on the Statistics Canada 2016 Census of Population.

Awareness and Attitudes Towards E-Scooters
While one in two Toronto residents report having seen e-scooters being operated, less than one in ten report having used or rented one. Younger residents were more likely to report having seen e-scooters being operated and were also more likely to report having used an e-scooter than older residents.
Dangerous and fun/adventure are top of mind words when Toronto residents think about escooters Asked what words come to mind when they think of an e-scooter, Toronto residents most frequently say dangerous and fun/adventure (16% each), followed by easy/convenient/ useful (13%), quick/speed (12%), and kid/toy (nine per cent). Toronto residents who are 55 years old or older (27%) are six times more likely to use the word, “dangerous”, to describe e-scooters than younger residents (five per cent of those 16 to 34 years old).
Toronto residents most frequently have heard about e-scooters through seeing them being operated or through the News, TV, Twitter or other media Asked where they have heard about e-scooters, Toronto residents most frequently say they had seen e-scooters being operated (50%) and through News, TV, Twitter and other media (46%), followed by word of mouth (26%), online shopping and retailer websites (19%), and having used or rented one (eight per cent). Fourteen per cent say they had never heard about them until this survey.
Older residents are twice as likely to say they have never heard of e-scooters than younger residents Nearly one in two Toronto residents who are 55 years old or older say they had not heard about e-scooters until this survey (18%) compared to under one in ten (nine per cent) of 16 to 34 year olds. Toronto residents who are 16 to 34 years old are more likely to say they have seen e-scooters being operated than older Toronto residents (55%, compared to 45% of those 55 and older). Younger Toronto residents are also more likely to report having used or rented an escooter (16% of 16-34 year olds, compared to three per cent of those 55 and older).

Less than one in ten Toronto residents say they have used and/or rented an e-scooter Eight per cent of Toronto residents say they have used and/or rented an e-scooter. Of these, Toronto residents who are 16 to 34 years old (16%) are five times more likely to report having used or rented an e-scooter than those age 55 and older (three per cent), and nearly three time more likely than those aged 35 to 54 years old (six per cent).
Those who have seen an e-scooter being operated most frequently say that they observed young people operating them Asked to rank their top three observations when they saw people operating e-scooters, Toronto residents most frequently rank first that they saw mostly young people riding them (29%), followed by people having fun or riding e-scooters for convenience (18%), few people using them (13%), and people riding safely, not speeding, using bike lanes/roadway on e-scooters (13%). Ten per cent first rank that they saw people riding recklessly, speeding, not yielding to pedestrians on e-scooters.
Those who have used an e-scooter are marginally more likely to say they used a rented escooter rather than a privately owned e-scooter Just over one in two Toronto residents (54%) who have ridden an e-scooter say they used a rented e-scooter to do so, while just under one in two (47%) say they used a privately owned e-scooter.
Fun and convenience best describe Toronto residents experiences when riding an e-scooter Asked to rank the top three descriptions that best match their experience when riding an escooter, Toronto residents who have used or rented an e-scooter most frequently rank first that it was fun (26%) and that it was convenient (25%), followed by I would use it but not everyone should use it as it takes some skill (19%), it was cost effective (16%), it was expensive (seven per cent), and they had a near miss with other e-scooter riders, pedestrians, cyclists or drivers (four per cent).

E-scooter pilot projects
When it comes to how the City of Toronto should participate in the Provinces e-scooter pilot project, Toronto residents most frequently say e-scooters are still a new device and should be introduced cautiously, starting with a limited pilot project. Safety and education are most frequently seen as the priorities the City should consider when developing its approach to e-scooters. Respondents were asked for their views before and after reading a set of statements about e-scooters. Overall, results pre and post-information were consistent.
Toronto residents most frequently say that e-scooters are still a new device and should be introduced cautiously, starting with a limited pilot project Asked how the City of Toronto should participate in the Provinces e-scooter pilot project, if at all, Toronto residents most frequently say that e-scooters are still a new device and should be introduced cautiously, starting with a limited pilot project (44% pre-information, 52% post-information), followed by e-scooters are fun, convenient and should be allowed like bicycles and e-bikes (27% pre-information, 22% post-information), e-scooters are a fad and the City should improve other transportation options (14% pre-information, 11% post-information) and e-scooters are dangerous and should not be piloted at this time (nine per cent pre-information, 10% post-information).
Toronto residents most frequently say the most important role e-scooters could fulfil in Torontos transportation system is being used for fun or recreation Asked to rank the top three roles they think e-scooters could fulfil in Torontos transportation system, Toronto residents most frequently ranked using them for fun or recreation (20% pre-information, 15% post-information) first, followed by using them instead of walking or short transit trips (18% pre-information, 19% post-information), a way for tourists and others to see the city (13% pre-information, 12% post-information), using them where public transit service is less frequent or not available (12% pre-information, 16% post-information), an alternative to driving (10% pre-information, 11% post-information) and using them to commute to/from work (nine per cent pre-information and post-information). Fourteen per cent say e-scooters do not fulfill a real role in Torontos transportation system and five per cent are unsure both pre-information and post-information.
Older residents are more likely to say that e-scooters do not fulfill a real role in Torontos transportation system compared to younger residents Just under two in ten (19%) older residents (55 and older) say that e-scooters do not fulfill a real role in Torontos transportation system compared to nine per cent of residents aged 16 to 34 years old.

Priorities for the Citys e-scooter approach
Residents says safety is the most important priority for the City of Toronto to prioritize when developing its approach to e-scooters Asked to rank the top three things the City of Toronto should prioritize in developing its approach to e-scooters, Toronto residents rank first focusing on safety to prevent serious injuries and death (28% pre-information, 26% post-information), followed by educating new users of e-scooters to learn how to operate them (20% pre-information and post-information), protecting pedestrians and persons with disabilities from escooters being used on sidewalks (17% pre-information, 22% post-information), restricting the use of e-scooters in Toronto (12% pre-information, nine per cent post information), building more infrastructure for e-scooters and other similar uses (11% pre-information and post-information). Seven per cent rank being open and more permissive to dockless e-scooters first (five per cent post-information), and six per cent say the City should ban/not allow e-scooters both pre-information and post-information.
Toronto residents most frequently say the City should prioritize injuries and fatalities compared to other modes when evaluating an e-scooter pilot Asked what the City of Toronto should prioritize when evaluating an e-scooter pilot if it were to allow e-scooters on public streets, Toronto residents most frequently ranked injuries and fatalities compared with other modes (31%) first, followed by impacts on all road users and the transportation system (25%), costs to the city for enforcement, dealing with litter/complaints, lawsuits, claims and staffing (15%), the environmental impacts like the lifecycle of e-scooters (11%), the number of trips taken and shifts in transportation mode used (10%), and social equity and demographics of users (eight per cent).

Perception of e-scooters
Over half of Toronto residents say they would feel comfortable or somewhat comfortable recommending that a loved on use an e-scooter, with younger residents feeling most comfortable. Toronto residents are more likely to say that using e-scooters is generally safe or somewhat safe than to say it is not safe or somewhat not safe, with younger respondents most likely to say that they are generally safe or somewhat safe. Results pre and post-information were consistent.
Over half of Toronto residents say they would be comfortable or somewhat comfortable recommending that a loved one use an e-scooter Over one in two say they would be comfortable (19% pre-information, 17% post-information) or somewhat comfortable (36% pre-information, 37% post-information) recommending that a loved one use an e-scooter as a mode of transportation in Toronto if the City of Toronto were to allow e-scooters where bikes are allowed on roadways and bike lanes, while four in ten say they would be somewhat not comfortable (18% pre-information, 20% post-information) or not comfortable (21% pre-information and post-information). Six per cent are unsure.
Younger Toronto residents are more likely to say they would be comfortable recommending that a loved one use an e-scooter than older residents Three in ten (30%) Toronto residents 55 years old or older say they would not be comfortable recommending that a loved one use an escooter as a mode of transportation in Toronto, compared to 18 per cent of 35 to 54 year olds and 13 per cent of 16 to 34 year olds.

Toronto residents are most likely to say that using e-scooters is generally safe or somewhat safe
o Over half of Toronto residents say that using e-scooters is generally safe (11% pre-information, 10% post-information) or somewhat safe (44% pre-information, 42% post-information), while just over one in three say that it is generally somewhat not safe (21% pre-information, 24% post-information) or not safe (15% pre-information, 17% post-information). Nine per cent are unsure.
Younger Toronto residents and men are more likely to say that using e-scooters is generally safe Just over seven in ten 16 to 34 year olds say that using e-scooter is generally safe (19%) or somewhat safe (52%), compared to under six in ten 35 to 54 year olds (13% safe, 46% somewhat safe) and just over four in ten 55 year olds and older (five per cent safe, 38% somewhat safe). Men (16% safe, 46% somewhat safe) are more likely to say that using e-scooters is generally safe compared to women (eight per cent safe, 43% somewhat safe).

Support for e-scooter initiatives
Toronto residents gave the highest intensity of support for the initiative that would require e-scooter riders to wear helmets and the lowest intensity of support for the initiative that would ban e-scooters in Toronto.
* E-scooter riders having to wear helmets received the highest intensity of support from Toronto residents Asked to rate a series of e-scooter initiatives on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being least supportive to 10 being highly supportive, Toronto residents gave the highest mean score to e-scooter riders having to wear helmets (mean of 8.8 out of 10), followed by having e-scooter rentals at Toronto Bike Share stations (mean of 7.0 out of 10) and having e-scooter rentals at public transit stations/stops (mean of 6.9 out of 10). Focusing a pilot downtown or in suburban areas received lower support (mean of 6.2 and 6.3, respectively), while not allowing e-scooters in Toronto like New York citys Manhattan received the lowest support (mean of 5.4 out of 10).

* Older Toronto residents were more likely to support initiatives that would ban e-scooters in Toronto; younger Toronto residents were more likely to support having e-scooter rentals at public transit and Bikeshare stations Older respondents (55 plus) were more likely to support the initiative that would not allow e-scooters in Toronto than younger respondents (mean of 6.0 out of 10 for those 55 plus compared to 4.7 for those 16 to 34 years old), and were also more likely to support the initiative that would require e-scooter riders to wear helmets (mean of 9.3 out of 10 for those 55 plus compared to 8.2 for those 16 to 34 years old). Younger Toronto residents were more likely to support having e-scooter rentals at public transit stations/stops and at Bikeshare stations (mean or 7.3 and 7.4 out of 10 respectively for those 16 to 34 years old, compared to a mean of 6.6 out of 10, each, for those 55 and older).

Nanos conducted an online survey of 1010 residents of Toronto, 16 years of age or older, between January 23rd to February 1st, 2020. The results were statistically checked and weighted by age and gender using the latest Census information and the sample is geographically stratified to be representative of Toronto. Note: Charts may not add up to 100 due to rounding.




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