Victoria is a ‘no brainer’ for e-scooter program, say firm executives – Goldstream Information Gazette
Regardless of the failure of the U-Bicycle program, high executives of the 2 greatest electrical scooter corporations have each stated Victoria can be a great place to implement a program.
Lime and Fowl, two of the highest competing e-scooter corporations in Canada, agree the town can be a great place to launch an e-scooter (much 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 undertaking 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-about for a doable future part.
“From our perspective, Victoria is form of a no brainer,” stated Jonathan Hopkins, director of strategic developments for Lime.
Based on Hopkins, Lime has engaged with the town on having the e-scooters as Victoria has signed as much as be a participant within the pilot undertaking however shouldn’t be at the moment “on the slate to function this 12 months.”
Stewart Lyons, CEO of Fowl Canada, stated his firm spoke with metropolis representatives “very often within the final 12 months” and “would like to be in Victoria” however is ready for the town to make the subsequent transfer.
When figuring out cities during which to launch e-scooter applications, each corporations take a look at such elements as city density, tourism and infrastructure.
Fowl launched in Calgary just a little over a 12 months in the past, and have had greater than 1,000,000 leases, with a mean experience of 20 minutes, in that point Lyons stated. “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 stated, are that scooters appeal to a brand new group of individuals to utilizing energetic transportation, however the considerations about sidewalk muddle are necessary to bear in mind. In 2019, incapacity advocates took the town of San Diego and working scooter corporations to court docket for blocking rights-of-way.
Hopkins stated the perfect place for e-scooters – which may journey as much as 20 km/h – is a motorbike lane.
“We don’t put pedestrians in the course of a freeway as a result of pedestrians and automobiles go totally different speeds, and we strive to not put scooters on sidewalks,” he stated.
Skate boarders have been utilizing bike lanes in Victoria for a number of years now, and Burger stated there have been no issues with that, including that scooters are “only one extra small micromobility machine 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 stated.
Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps didn’t reply to requests for remark.