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August 17, 2000
City Launches Electric Bike Project as a Solution to Toronto's Gridlock
  
The City of Toronto launched a three-month Electric Bike Pilot Project today to
evaluate the performance, safety and potential market of electric bikes.
Members of the public were able to test-drive these new clean urban vehicles
that are efficient, economical and have zero emissions.

"Power-assisted bikes are taking hold around the world today and Canadian
manufacturers are creating a whole range of models that compete on the market,"
says Sue Zielinski, director of Moving the Economy and a transportation planner
at the City of Toronto.

Electric bikes are currently not allowed on Ontario roadways. Existing
regulations designed to ensure safe operation of vehicles on roadways, do not
include electric bicycles. The federal government is reviewing its regulation
in order to enable the introduction of electric power-assisted bicycles without
compromising safety. The Ontario Ministry of Transportation is also reviewing
how to safely integrate these vehicles onto the province's roadways.

"Electric bikes are in high demand and a number of customers are asking for
them," says Jim McFarland, former president of the Independent Bicycle Dealers
Association and manager of McBride Cycle Power Sports.

This pilot project is part of Electric Bike 2000, a larger effort promoting and
evaluating electric bikes and their use for urban transportation. It is hosted
by CEVEQ (Centre d'Expérimentation des Véhicules Électriques du Québec) with
support from Transport Canada and several other partners. The Electric Bike
Pilot Project is one of the City's many examples of promoting sustainable
transportation initiatives.

The City of Toronto evaluation, co-ordinated by Moving the Economy, is also
supported by the Toronto Atmospheric Fund, Human Resources Development Canada,
Transportation Options, the Independent Bicycle Dealers Association, McBride
Cycle Power Sports and Wheel Excitement Inc. Moving the Economy is a
partnership established by the City of Toronto, Transportation Options and
Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC). MTE is planning to implement this
project on Parks' property with the City's support and co-operation.

Various demonstration events will take place from August 21 to October 7 across
the city, or the public can test-drive an electric bike by appointment only at:
Wheel Excitement Inc. (5 Rees Street at Queens Quay; 260-9000) or McBride Cycle
(Harbourfront at Queens Quay & York Street, 416-203-5651 or 2923 Dundas Street
West, 416-763-5652).


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Access Toronto
416-338-0338

 

 

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