E-scooters hit Edmonton streets
Edmontonians are being reminded of the rules of the road as a new type of rideshare gets rolling.
By Monday, San Francisco-based company Lime and Bird Canada will have unveiled hundreds of e-scooters in Alberta's capital city. After a successful launch in Calgary last month, the e-scooter has been welcomed in Edmonton.
"What a great option to be able to jump on something like that. It's easy and convenient," said Ward 1 City Councillor Andrew Knack.
"For me, it's about choice. Let's let people decide how they want to move."
The scooters cost at least $1 to rent, plus $0.30 or $0.35 per minute.
Their speed maxes out at 20 km/hour, and the rides are meant to be kept in bike lanes, roads with a speed limit under 50 km/h, and shared paths.
Officials are warning users to respect these rules and safety recommendations; Alberta Health Services has counted 145 scooter-related emergency room visits since the rides became available in Calgary in July.
According to Dr. Shobhit Maruti, AHS medical officer of health for Edmonton, the most common injuries are to the head, or upper and lower-body extremity fractures.
The majority occur when a rider falls from their scooter.
"Be safe, be sober, be aware, have the proper gear," Maruti warned.
Knack added: "Let's just hope the common sense of folks rises to the top to say, 'I better be responsible.'"
Scooter rules also differ for private users, who don't have the same public access. Private scooters are not allowed on bike lanes, shared-use paths, or roads, according to the province's small vehicles rules.
Both Bird and Lime expect to expand their fleets to up to 1,000 scooters in the next year.
With files from Timm Bruch