Victoria is a ‘no brainer’ for e-scooter program, say firm executives – Peninsula Information Assessment
Regardless of the failure of the U-Bicycle program, high executives of the 2 largest electrical scooter corporations have each stated Victoria could be an excellent place to implement a program.
Lime and Chicken, two of the highest competing e-scooter corporations in Canada, agree the town could be an excellent 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 at the moment approved for use on streets and sidewalks. Whereas the deadline has handed for communities to submit proposals, they’ll nonetheless be thought-about for a doable future part.
“From our standpoint, Victoria is sort 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 just isn’t at the moment “on the slate to function this yr.”
Stewart Lyons, CEO of Chicken 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 subsequent transfer.
When figuring out cities wherein to launch e-scooter applications, each corporations take a look at such elements as city density, tourism and infrastructure.
Chicken 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 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 stated, are that scooters appeal to a brand new group of individuals to utilizing energetic transportation, however the issues about sidewalk litter are essential to take note of. In 2019, incapacity advocates took the town of San Diego and working scooter corporations to courtroom for blocking rights-of-way.
Hopkins stated the very 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 vehicles 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 couple 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 area.”
“And if there aren’t sufficient bike lanes, effectively 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.