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Concerns rise over food delivery ebikes clogging Ontario transit; cycling advocates push for change

Concerns rise over food delivery ebikes clogging Ontario transit; cycling advocates push for change

Janice Jim/Twitter

Some Greater Toronto Area commuters are expressing concern over the surge of ebikes on Ontario GO trains, questioning the adequacy of safety measures by the province’s transit agency. As per a CP24 report, Janice Jim shared images on social media depicting her commute into Toronto via GO Transit’s Kitchener line in Ontario. The photos revealed a GO train bike carriage tightly packed with e-bikes, leaving minimal room for passengers to maneuver. The bikes all seemed to be owned by e-bike food delivery couriers who may have been coming from other parts of the city to work downtown. “The safety concern is that, you know, you see how packed it is. There is no way to evacuate if something happens,” she said. “Some of the riders were sitting in the middle of the pile of bikes and there really isn’t a path through.”

Couriers using transit to get to downtown core

In reaction to the rising presence of bikes and e-bikes on GO trains along the Kitchener line, Metrolinx, the Crown agency of the Government of Ontario responsible for road and public transport in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, has initiated the deployment of specialized bike cars on selected trips.

In a statement provided to CP24.com, Metrolinx emphasized that it has implemented “several measures” to address the issue, such as adding scheduled trains to the line to accommodate increased passenger and bike capacity.

Change is needed

Alison Stewart from Cycle Toronto, emphasized the persistent demand for bike and e-bike space on GO trains as the city becomes increasingly unaffordable for residents. “People need to commute into the city for work,” she said. “While the focus has been on food delivery carriers, it’s important to recognize that other workers also rely on bikes and e-bikes for transportation.” Stewart stressed that Metrolinx must intensify efforts to promote alternative transportation modes apart from cars, advocating for the facilitation of multi-modal trips with GO Transit. She underscored the necessity for Metrolinx to increase the availability of bike cars on all scheduled trains along the Kitchener line, particularly during peak commuting hours, highlighting the current absence of bike accommodation during rush hours on GO trains.

Solutions needed

Given the ubiquity of food delivery couriers using e-bikes in recent years and the increasing demand for their services, it’s evident that modifications are needed to accommodate this rise. In light of this, there is a pressing need for adjustments in transportation infrastructure going forward.