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2024 Edmonton debut of e-scooters waiting on city review

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At this time last year, e-scooters had been patrolling Edmonton streets for almost a month.

This year, they have yet to make their debut — and likely won't until the end of this month.

Jenny Albers, Edmonton's general supervisor of planning and permitting, told media on Thursday the city and prospective vendors are "in the final stages of a request for proposal" and hopes to soon announce which companies will supply shared e-scooters and e-bikes, with the "micromobility" vehicles "hopefully on streets by the end of May."

Last year, Bird Canada and Lime operated e-scooters and e-bikes in Edmonton in the final year of a two-year permit program, with Bird deploying 750 e-scooters and 250 e-bikes on city pathways, Lime about 1,500 such vehicles.

According to a city operations report presented Thursday to city council's urban planning committee, administration is updating the city's e-scooter program "based on the results of a program review, jurisdictional scan and public engagement," adding it will "provide more consistent service across the city and improve supplier compliance."

The report also said e-scooter trips increased 124 per cent from 2022, e-bike trips went up six per cent, and total trip kilometres increased by 98 per cent.

It says new program features will include parking locations, no-parking zones, slow zones and no-ride zones.

Albers said the city will continue to expand parking corrals and add no-parking zones in places it doesn't want them parked.

Committee member Karen Teng, the councillor for Ward Karhiio, said some of the changes to the e-scooter program the city wants to see includes "elevating" expectations for safety and accessibility.

"We have invested heavily in active transportation to meet our goals for shifting our modes of transportation to achieve our livability, our climate goals, etc.," Teng told media.

"This is about creating more alternative modes of transportation on the road. It's creating more options for people to get around our city. The report has some impressive numbers on the growth of usage.

"It means Edmontonians are very open to it. They're using it. People are excited about it. We're hearing lots of commentary about why (e-scooters are) not on the road already, so there's an eagerness."

With files from CTV News Edmonton's Jeremy Thompson 

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