Victoria is a ‘no brainer’ for e-scooter program, say firm executives – Saanich Information
Regardless of the failure of the U-Bicycle program, high executives of the 2 greatest electrical scooter firms have each mentioned Victoria could be a perfect place to implement a program.
Lime and Fowl, two of the highest competing e-scooter firms in Canada, agree the town could be a perfect 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 mission for using 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 standpoint, Victoria is type of a no brainer,” mentioned 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 mission however is just not at the moment “on the slate to function this 12 months.”
Stewart Lyons, CEO of Fowl Canada, mentioned 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 following transfer.
When figuring out cities by which to launch e-scooter packages, each firms 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 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 Larger 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 litter are vital to take into consideration. In 2019, incapacity advocates took the town of San Diego and working scooter firms to courtroom for blocking rights-of-way.
Hopkins mentioned one of the best place for e-scooters – which may journey as much as 20 km/h – is a motorcycle lane.
“We don’t put pedestrians in the midst of a freeway as a result of pedestrians and vehicles go totally different speeds, and we attempt to not put scooters on sidewalks,” he mentioned.
Skate boarders have been utilizing bike lanes in Victoria for a couple of years now, and Burger mentioned there have been no issues with that, including that scooters are “only one extra small micromobility gadget 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.