Victoria is a ‘no brainer’ for e-scooter program, say firm executives – BC Native Information
Regardless of the failure of the U-Bicycle program, prime executives of the 2 largest electrical scooter firms have each stated Victoria could be a great place to implement a program.
Lime and Hen, two of the highest competing e-scooter firms in Canada, agree the town could 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 venture for the usage of e-scooters or different micromobility units not presently approved for use on streets and sidewalks. Whereas the deadline has handed for communities to submit proposals, they’ll nonetheless be thought of for a attainable future part.
“From our standpoint, 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 venture however will not be presently “on the slate to function this yr.”
Stewart Lyons, CEO of Hen Canada, stated his firm spoke with metropolis representatives “very often within the final yr” and “would like to be in Victoria” however is ready for the town to make the following transfer.
When figuring out cities during which to launch e-scooter packages, each firms take a look at such components as city density, tourism and infrastructure.
Hen launched in Calgary a bit over a yr in the past, and have had greater than 1,000,000 leases, with a median 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 Larger Victoria Biking Coalition, the prospect of getting e-scooters within the metropolis is an ‘attention-grabbing 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 essential to bear in mind. In 2019, incapacity advocates took the town of San Diego and working scooter firms to court docket for blocking rights-of-way.
Hopkins stated 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 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 just a few 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 area.”
“And if there aren’t sufficient bike lanes, nicely let’s go and add some extra – that’s not an enormous deal,” he stated.
Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps didn’t reply to requests for remark.