ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT ALLIANCE
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Montreal Halts Pilot Project that Allowed Electric Scooters Due to Rampant Violations – Will Toronto City Council Learn from Montreal or Will It Expose Torontonians with Disabilities and Others to Dangers that E-Scooters Pose?
February 20, 2020 Toronto: This week, Montreal restored its ban on electric scooters, halting its pilot project that allowed them, due to rampant violations of the rules on their use. the AODA Alliance, a leading Ontario disability rights coalition, calls on Toronto City Council to put the brakes on its consideration of whether to lift the ban on e-scooters and to make public safety and accessibility for Torontonians with disabilities their top priority.
A new Ford Government regulation passed last fall allows municipalities to permit dangerously fast e-scooters, driven by uninsured, unlicensed and untrained drivers as young as 16 years old, on roads, sidewalks and other public places. Ontarians with disabilities, seniors and others will be exposed to the danger of serious personal injuries, if not worse. E-scooters will become unpredictable new barriers blocking the accessibility of sidewalks and other public spaces for people with disabilities.
“Since last August, the AODA Alliance has been in the lead in showing that e-scooters pose a serious danger to the physical safety of people with disabilities and others, and will create new and troubling accessibility barriers on our sidewalks and other public spaces,” said David Lepofsky, chair of the non-partisan AODA Alliance. “We call on Toronto City Council to learn from Montreal, rather than exposing vulnerable people with disabilities, seniors and others to the dangers that e-scooters pose in yet another unnecessary pilot project.”
If Toronto City Council does nothing, the current ban on e-scooters remains in place. That ban can only be lifted if the Toronto City Council passes a new bylaw permitting e-scooters.
Two weeks ago, Toronto’s official Accessibility Advisory Committee sent City Council a strong message, when it passed a unanimous motion calling on City Council to leave in place the ban on e-scooters . As well, 13 major disability organizations signed a compelling open letter to the mayors and city councils of all Ontario municipalities, with the same message. Yet corporate lobbyists for thee-scooter rental companies are lobbying hard to have their business interests prevail over public safety and disability accessibility. They had the inside track with Premier Ford last fall, and no doubt are trying to get the same with Toronto City Council.
At the February 3, 2020 meeting of Toronto’s Accessibility Advisory Committee, City staff advised that their preferred option is to unleash e-scooters on Torontonians, with the Toronto Parking Authority managing them. The AODA Alliance quickly wrote Mayor John Tory, objecting to this seriously-flawed option. It saddles Toronto taxpayers with new staffing and law enforcement costs – public money that could be more wisely spent on other priorities.
Contact: AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky, firstname.lastname@example.org
All the news on the AODA Alliance’s campaign for accessibility in Ontario is available at: www.aodaalliance.org
CBC News February 19, 2020
Originally posted at https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/scooters-banned-1.5468206
Shared e-scooters to be banned in Montreal in 2020
City says mass noncompliance with the rules means the scooters won’t be coming back this year
Montreal will ban shared, dockless e-scooters in the city for 2020.
The announcement was made at Wednesday’s executive committee meeting by Coun. Éric Alan Caldwell, citing mass noncompliance with the city’s rules for the vehicles.
“Our rules were not respected and the operators did not ensure they were respected,” Caldwell said.
Caldwell said that while e-scooters can have a place in cities such as Montreal, they must not come at the expense of impeding other modes of transportation in the city. “And that’s what happened last year,” he concluded.
“That’s why, in 2020, there will be no e-scooters in the streets of Montreal.”
The e-scooters — operated by companies including Bird Canada and Lime — had been allowed last summer as part of a pilot project.
But a city report, which was tabledat Wednesday’s executive committee meeting, found that during the pilot, scooters were only parked in their designated zones 20 per cent of the time.
- Montreal to fine Lime, Jump and their users for bad parking of e-scooters and e-bikes
“Eight e-scooters on 10 did not respect our rules… which led to problems,” Caldwell said. “Security issues. Issues for other modes of transportation, be it pedestrians, cyclists, or drivers. Issues that led to disorder in the city.”
Those issues led the city of Montreal to bring in new fines during the pilot project, with Mayor Valérie Plante saying she was “not satisfied “with how the e-scooters were being implemented.
Montreal police also issued 333 tickets to e-scooter users for not respecting the Highway Safety Code, according to the report. Tickets for not wearing a helmet accounted for 324 of them.
Caldwell did not close the door on allowing e-scooters to return to the city in the future, but said the city was not interested in policing whether or not they’re being parked properly.
He said it was the operators’ responsibility to ensure that users complied with the rules which did not happen last year.
In a statement, Lime general manager Michael Markevich said the move was “incredibly disappointing” and a “major step backwards.”
“It’s clear there was a real demand for a greener, more convenient transportation option,” the statement read. “We remain open to solutions that address the city’s concerns and are eager to bring the program back as soon as possible.”
Lime acknowledged that cases of improper parking were high, but claimed the city’s designated parking spots were not conveniently placed and there were
not enough of them to meet demand. There were 410 designed spots across Montreal, according to the city.
In a statement, Bird Canada said it was disappointed but hopes to bring the e-scooters back “when the City will have resolved its parking issues.” Shared electronic bikes, such as Jump bikes, will still be allowed to operate this year.