Victoria is a ‘no brainer’ for e-scooter program, say firm executives – Victoria Information
Regardless of the failure of the U-Bicycle program, high executives of the 2 greatest electrical scooter firms have each mentioned Victoria can be a great place to implement a program.
Lime and Chicken, two of the highest competing e-scooter firms in Canada, agree town can 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 mission for the usage of e-scooters or different micromobility gadgets not at present 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 doable future section.
“From our viewpoint, Victoria is type of a no brainer,” mentioned Jonathan Hopkins, director of strategic developments for Lime.
In response to Hopkins, Lime has engaged with town on having the e-scooters as Victoria has signed as much as be a participant within the pilot mission however shouldn’t be at present “on the slate to function this yr.”
Stewart Lyons, CEO of Chicken 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 town to make the subsequent transfer.
When figuring out cities during which to launch e-scooter packages, each firms have a look at such components as city density, tourism and infrastructure.
Chicken launched in Calgary somewhat over a yr in the past, and have had greater than one million leases, with a mean journey 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 entice a brand new group of individuals to utilizing lively transportation, however the considerations about sidewalk muddle are necessary to take note of. In 2019, incapacity advocates took 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 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 attempt to not put scooters on sidewalks,” he mentioned.
Skate boarders have been utilizing bike lanes in Victoria for a number of years now, and Burger mentioned 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 mentioned.
Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps didn’t reply to requests for remark.