Regardless of the failure of the U-Bicycle program, high executives of the 2 largest electrical scooter corporations have each stated Victoria could be a super place to implement a program.
Lime and Chook, two of the highest competing e-scooter corporations in Canada, agree town could be a super 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 undertaking for the usage of e-scooters or different micromobility units not at the moment approved for use on streets and sidewalks. Whereas the deadline has handed for communities to submit proposals, they will nonetheless be thought-about for a doable future section.
“From our perspective, Victoria is type of a no brainer,” stated Jonathan Hopkins, director of strategic developments for Lime.
Based on Hopkins, Lime has engaged with 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 Chook 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 town to make the subsequent transfer.
When figuring out cities wherein to launch e-scooter packages, each corporations take a look at such components as city density, tourism and infrastructure.
Chook launched in Calgary just a little over a yr in the past, and have had greater than one million leases, with a mean 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 Better 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 entice a brand new group of individuals to utilizing lively transportation, however the issues about sidewalk litter are essential to take into consideration. In 2019, incapacity advocates took town of San Diego and working scooter corporations to court docket 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 motorcycle lane.
“We don’t put pedestrians in the course 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 a number 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 house.”
“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.