Bikes and Buses, Rochester NY.
18 Mar 2024

Toronto moves towards restricting e-bikes on public transit due to fire risk


Starting April 9, Metrolinx, the operator of trains on Toronto's GO network, will enforce restrictions on e-bikes equipped with non-certified batteries. 

According to spokesperson Andrea Ernesaks, the transit operator will mandate that e-bike batteries adhere to established safety standards. 

“Over the course of the past several months, Metrolinx has been actively reviewing our bike policies to support increased demand from our bike users,” she said in an emailed statement.

This decision follows concerns raised by Toronto fire officials regarding the incidence of fires attributed to lithium-ion batteries last year. Fire Chief Matthew Pegg stated in January that a fire occurring on a subway train on New Year's Eve resulted from the malfunction of a lithium-ion battery powering an e-bike,  FireFightinginCanada.com reports. 

Fire Chief Matthew Pegg stated in January that a fire aboard a subway train on New Year’s Eve was attributed to a lithium-ion battery failure in an e-bike. Spokesperson Andrea Ernesaks also mentioned that faulty batteries are increasingly responsible for fires in Toronto, with the city experiencing 55 fires last year caused by lithium-ion battery failures, compared to 29 such incidents in 2022.

“To ensure the safety of our customers and better align with other jurisdictions, Metrolinx will require e-bike batteries to comply with standard UL or CE requirements in addition to other measures,” she said in an e-mailed statement, referring to recognized safety standards.


Photo Credit: Flickr Commons License. Photo by : Robert Torzynski