E-scooters in Edmonton: How did Year 1 go?
Published Thursday, November 7, 2019 4:36PM MST
EDMONTON -- E-scooters have been put away for the winter in Edmonton, so how did Year 1 go?
That depends on who you ask.
Lime and Bird are happy with the rollout, but the City of Edmonton is pumping the brakes, hoping for more responsible riding next year.
Stay off the sidewalk
Users are allowed to take scooters on bike lanes, paths and roads with a speed limit of 50 kilometres an hour or below.
"I think it's still really problematic on the sidewalks," Ward 8 Coun. Ben Henderson told CTV News Edmonton. "We're going to have to sort that out, because it's not safe for them, it's not safe for the pedestrians."
The city says no tickets have been handed out, but that may change when scooters come back if Edmontonians continue to cruise on sidewalks.
"If we can’t get better behaviour, we're going to continue to have problems," Henderson said.
He acknowledged scooters are a "huge benefit," especially for commuting, when riders use the bike lanes.
Better than expected
There were approximately 160,000 rides since August, the city said. Bird, which brought 400 scooters to Edmonton, was surprised by the reception.
"Year 1 went great," Bird Canada General Manager Alexandra Petre said. "We really enjoyed our experience."
But there were some bumps along the way. In October, Bird Canada told CTV News Edmonton more than 50 of its scooters had been found blowtorched since early September.
However, Bird is happy with Edmonton users, who the company says were the most active on social media, sharing feedback and posting photos of the scooters.
The Birds were put away for the winter "to make sure everyone stays safe," and the company is working with the city to determine how many scooters will hit the streets in the spring.
Councillors will receive a report on e-scooters early next year.
With files from CTV News Edmonton's Bill Fortier