Toronto’s Reopening Plans and ActiveTO Initiative
As COVID-19 cases have come down significantly, there are plans underway to slowly reopen Toronto over the upcoming weeks, including allowing more stores to offer curbside pickup. One recent development that we’re excited about is Toronto’s new social distancing initiative, called ActiveTO, which will create 57 km of what the city calls “quiet streets” across Toronto to provide more space for people to be physically active and improve physical distancing as part of the restart and recovery in the wake of COVID-19.
With reduced Toronto public transportation services and more road closures, we’ve heard a lot of fellow Torontonians ask if there’s a better way to travel around Toronto while ensuring appropriate social distancing. The answer is yes! As the new ActiveTO program will create more road space, electric scooters, with its benefits of flexibility, convenience and solitary nature, will make it the perfect public transit alternative in the summer!
Details about the ActiveTO Initiative
ActiveTO is a new initiative by Toronto Transit Services and Toronto Public Health to promote better social distancing in Toronto by creating more usable road space. The plan aims to create close to 50km of new “quiet streets” for use and will consist of four key pieces:
- Creating More Quiet Streets: Aiming to create around 50km of open, quiet spaces for both pedestrians and cyclists that are expected to roll out quickly as Toronto reopens. These routes will be closed to cars except for local car traffic only, meaning you can only drive your car if you live close to that area
- Closing Major Streets To Car Traffic: Plan to close major roads near major trails or recreational attractions to car traffic. This could include some locations with car traffic completely closed, delivered through short-term road closures, such as on weekends
- Expanding Toronto’s Cycling Network: Plan to expand the cycling network across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Will also accelerate the Cycling Network Plan to speed up the number of bike lanes available for use
- Continued Rollout of CurbTO: Not part of ActiveTO but another initiative to help better encourage social distancing by creating more temporary curbside pickup areas across Toronto for people to use
Options For Transportation As Toronto Reopens
As Toronto rolls out their new reopening initiatives, we believe that in the short to medium term, Torontonians will get around in three main ways: 1) by walking, 2) by using a micro-mobility vehicle, such as bicycles, e-bikes and electric scooters and 3) continuing to use public transportation such as TTC, Go Train or Go Bus.
Why Electric Scooters Are A Great Alternative To Public Transportation
As cases continue to decrease over time, we expect public transportation to become more viable and eventually become a popular choice again for commuters. However, given the concerns around safety, flexibility and cost, we think there is a much better solution for Torontonians to get around, the electric scooter. Here’s why:
- Better Sense of Control: With an electric scooter, you get to dictate your own schedule with no more waiting for public transportation. Electric scooter owners can get around on their own terms。
- Convenient and Flexible: Electric scooters are designed to be versatile and easy to use, allowing you to conveniently travel from place to place easily. Simply unfold your scooter, power on and you’re ready to go!
- Get Around Safely: E scooters are a great way to travel in the city while helping you social distance effectively by avoiding direct contact with individuals. This means getting to where you want to go while reducing your risk of exposure!
- Helps You Save Over The Long-Term: Lastly, the biggest benefit of electric scooters versus public transportation is they can help you save over the long-term. When we did the math, you could potentially save up to an estimated $2,000 a year using electric scooter instead of cars. Imagine what you could do with an extra $2k in your pocket!
As summer approaches, electric scooters are expected to get more popular and have currently demonstrated their value as one of the best and most affordable ways of travelling around.