Exploring the thriller of a scooter-free YYJ – Vancouver Island Free Each day
Regardless of the failure of the U-Bicycle program, high executives of the 2 largest electrical scooter corporations have each mentioned Victoria can be a really perfect place to implement a program.
Lime and Hen, two of the highest competing e-scooter corporations in Canada, agree town can be a really perfect place to launch an e-scooter (just like a push scooter, however with a motor) rental program.
In B.C., communities can submit proposals to the provincial authorities to conduct a pilot venture for the usage of e-scooters or different micromobility units not at the moment approved for use on streets and sidewalks. Whereas the deadline has handed for communities to submit proposals, they will nonetheless be thought of for a potential future part.
“From our viewpoint, Victoria is form of a no brainer,” mentioned Jonathan Hopkins, director of strategic developments for Lime.
Based on Hopkins, Lime has engaged with town on having the e-scooters as Victoria has signed as much as be a participant within the pilot venture however shouldn’t be at the moment “on the slate to function this yr.”
Stewart Lyons, CEO of Hen Canada, mentioned his firm spoke with metropolis representatives “very often within the final yr” and “would like to be in Victoria” however is ready for town to make the subsequent transfer.
When figuring out cities during which to launch e-scooter packages, each corporations take a look at such components as city density, tourism and infrastructure.
Hen launched in Calgary slightly over a yr in the past, and have had greater than one million leases, with a mean experience of 20 minutes, in that point Lyons mentioned. “That proves, from our perspective, that it’s actually a commuting software. It’s not only a toy or a tourism software.”
For Corey Burger, president of the Higher Victoria Biking Coalition, the prospect of getting e-scooters within the metropolis is an ‘fascinating double-edged sword.”
The positives, he mentioned, are that scooters appeal to a brand new group of individuals to utilizing lively transportation, however the considerations about sidewalk muddle are necessary to take note of. In 2019, incapacity advocates took town of San Diego and working scooter corporations to court docket for blocking rights-of-way.
Burger mentioned Victoria noticed the same drawback with the U-Bicycle enterprise.
“They have to be left in outlined locations, however even that hasn’t solved the issue,” he mentioned, including that there must be further guidelines to the place you’ll be able to park them. “I might simply go decide one up and transfer it out of the best way, however what about somebody who makes use of a walker or a wheelchair?”
Hopkins mentioned one of the best place for e-scooters – which may journey as much as 20 km/h – is a motorbike lane.
“We don’t put pedestrians in the midst of a freeway as a result of pedestrians and automobiles go totally different speeds, and we attempt to not put scooters on sidewalks,” he mentioned.
One other issue is the variety of scooters that might have to be accessible within the metropolis to make this system worthwhile.
“That’s a part of the explanation why the U-bike is basically gone, is that they didn’t have sufficient bikes on the street to make it really helpful,” mentioned Burger.
Skate boarders have been utilizing bike lanes in Victoria for a number of years now, and Burger mentioned there have been no issues with that, including that scooters are “only one extra small micromobility system that may use that house.”
“And if there aren’t sufficient bike lanes, nicely let’s go and add some extra – that’s not a giant deal,” he mentioned.
Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps didn’t reply to requests for remark.
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