Rental e-scooters return to Edmonton, smaller e-bike fleets possible

“When more people use active transportation, our streets become less congested with traffic, our impact on the environment decreases, and Edmonton becomes a healthier, more liveable and vibrant place to live”

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Street side electric scooter rental will be back in Edmonton this spring, potentially with on-demand e-bikes.

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The optimal warm weather for walking around the city has arrived but there is a slight delay in setting up rentals. At this time last year, three companies – Bird, Lime and Spin – were already in operation.

The delay is due to changes in how the city chooses suppliers. In hopes of avoiding some of the pitfalls and safety issues associated with scooter riders, the city has launched a competitive bidding process this year to select only two operators. Bidders were asked to offer solutions to common parking problems and present plans for how they will help keep the roads safe.

The two companies, which will be chosen in May, can rent up to 750 e-scooters and 200 e-bikes until December 2023. With up to 1,500 e-scooters available, this is well below the 4,000 e-scooters ordered by sellers. in the first part of 2021, but the same amount available at the end of last year.

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Jessica Lammare, director of safe mobility and traffic operations, said the approved fleet size is based on what Edmontonians are most comfortable with and similar to numbers in Calgary, Kelowna and Ottawa.

“The City of Edmonton is looking forward to bringing electric scooters back to Edmonton this summer. When more people use active transportation, our streets become less congested with traffic, our impact on the environment decreases, and Edmonton becomes a healthier, more liveable and more vibrant place to live,” she said in a statement. communicated by email.

Lammare said the bidding process will help manage regulatory and safety issues.

“This is a significant change from previous years when the city offered an open application process that provided a license to vendors who could meet the operating criteria set by the city,” Lammare said. “This gives service providers more certainty about how long they will be up and running and gives them more leeway to plan around customer needs.”

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Driving on the sidewalk is not allowed

Riders will have to follow the same rules as last year.

Electric scooters are allowed on bike lanes, shared-use trails and on roads at a maximum speed of 50 kilometers per hour, not on sidewalks.

“To support safe operations, the city will work closely with vendors on safety education strategies and incentives,” Lammare said.

Sidewalks that break the rules can face fines ranging from $100 to $250. Law enforcement officers gave scooter riders slack in the first half of 2021 by focusing on education, but stepped up warnings and tickets after a grace period.

Postmedia requested data on injuries involving electric scooters, but the city said information was limited.

According to available data based on police crash reports, the city is reporting eight electric scooter crashes resulting in three minor injuries and three serious injuries in 2021, and two property damage incidents. The city, the University of Alberta and Alberta Health Services are compiling more data on injuries from e-scooters and e-bikes.

A company, Yeg Scoot, already has electric scooters in service. These are rented by the hour or in group packages and must be picked up and dropped off at the company’s downtown location.

[email protected]

@laurby

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