Victoria is a ‘no brainer’ for e-scooter program, say firm executives – Saanich Information
Regardless of the failure of the U-Bicycle program, prime executives of the 2 greatest electrical scooter firms have each mentioned Victoria could be a really perfect place to implement a program.
Lime and Hen, two of the highest competing e-scooter firms in Canada, agree the town could be a really 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 units not at present licensed for use on streets and sidewalks. Whereas the deadline has handed for communities to submit proposals, they’ll nonetheless be thought-about for a attainable future part.
“From our perspective, 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 is just not at present “on the slate to function this yr.”
Stewart Lyons, CEO of Hen Canada, mentioned 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 by which to launch e-scooter packages, each firms have a look at such components as city density, tourism and infrastructure.
Hen launched in Calgary slightly over a yr in the past, and have had greater than 1,000,000 leases, with a median trip 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 Higher 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 litter are necessary to take note of. In 2019, incapacity advocates took the town of San Diego and working scooter firms to courtroom for blocking rights-of-way.
Hopkins mentioned the most effective place for e-scooters – which might 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 area.”
“And if there aren’t sufficient bike lanes, effectively 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.