Victoria is a ‘no brainer’ for e-scooter program, say firm executives – Victoria Information
Regardless of the failure of the U-Bicycle program, prime executives of the 2 greatest electrical scooter firms have each mentioned Victoria can be a perfect place to implement a program.
Lime and Fowl, two of the highest competing e-scooter firms in Canada, agree the town can be a 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 undertaking for the usage of e-scooters or different micromobility gadgets not presently licensed for use on streets and sidewalks. Whereas the deadline has handed for communities to submit proposals, they will nonetheless be thought-about for a potential future part.
“From our standpoint, Victoria is form of a no brainer,” mentioned Jonathan Hopkins, director of strategic developments for Lime.
In keeping with 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 just isn’t presently “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 through which to launch e-scooter packages, each firms take a look at such components as city density, tourism and infrastructure.
Fowl launched in Calgary somewhat over a 12 months in the past, and have had greater than one million leases, with a mean trip of 20 minutes, in that point Lyons mentioned. “That proves, from our perspective, that it’s actually a commuting instrument. It’s not only a toy or a tourism instrument.”
For Corey Burger, president of the Better 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 entice a brand new group of individuals to utilizing lively transportation, however the issues about sidewalk muddle are essential to have in mind. In 2019, incapacity advocates took the town of San Diego and working scooter firms to courtroom for blocking rights-of-way.
Hopkins mentioned the perfect place for e-scooters – which may journey as much as 20 km/h – is a motorcycle lane.
“We don’t put pedestrians in the course of a freeway as a result of pedestrians and vehicles go completely different speeds, and we strive to not put scooters on sidewalks,” he mentioned.
Skate boarders have been utilizing bike lanes in Victoria for just a few 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.