Metrolinx will soon be banning non-certified e-bike batteries from trains across the GO Transit network, the provincial transit agency confirmed Thursday.

Metrolinx said it will ban all batteries that do not have a “UL” or “CE” certification starting April 9. 

"Over the course of the past several months, Metrolinx has been actively reviewing our bike policies to support increased demand from our bike users," an emailed statement from the transit agency read.

"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, effective April 9." 

The ban comes amid concerns over the safety of “micro-mobility devices” that use lithium-ion batteries.

On New Year's Eve last year, an e-bike caught fire on a subway car stopped at Sheppard-Yonge Station in North York. Passengers were able to quickly evacuate the car and Toronto Fire crews were able to contain and eventually extinguish the blaze. The owner of the e-bike sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

Toronto Fire Chief Matthew Pegg said at the time that the fire was the result of a faulty lithium ion battery pack.

The Toronto Fire Service previously said that there were 55 lithium ion battery fires in 2023, nearly double the number recorded one year prior. Pegg described the issue as one of “growing concern.”

Last month, GO Transit riders expressed concerns over the volume of e-bikes on GO trains. Commuter Janice Jim shared photos on social media of a crowded bike carriage packed with e-bikes and called the situation “a disaster waiting to happen.”


In a statement to at the time, Metrolinx said staff have been in "close contact" with the TTC and Toronto Fire Services since the e-bike fire on the subway.

"This includes conducting site investigations in cooperation with Toronto Fire Services to better understand the risk of a similar event on GO Transit services, as well as potential mitigations," Metrolinx said last month.

"All GO trains are constructed with flame retardant materials as per the National Fire Protection Association standards."

Metrolinx said more details of the ban will be provided before April 9 to ensure "customers have time to adjust to the changes."