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Here's what you need to know about e-scooters and e-bikes in Edmonton in 2023

It's a sure sign of spring: E-scooters and e-bikes have returned to the streets of Edmonton.

The city is currently in year two of a two-year permit program with two operators: Bird Canada and Lime.

Both companies re-launched their vehicles on Edmonton streets this week, with Bird products returning on Tuesday and Lime vehicles launching on Wednesday.

Bird Canada's COO Alexanda Petre says Bird will have the same number of vehicles on Edmonton streets as last year, with 750 e-scooters and 250 e-bikes.

"This is going to be a slow rollout, so you won't see all the vehicles immediately on the street; however, we are taking advantage of the nice weather and some of the snow melting finally, and preparing for the really nice Easter long weekend," she told CTV News Edmonton.

While the number of vehicles on the street won't increase, the Bird devices will be available in more locations.

"This year, Bird Canada will have an expanded operating area, specifically providing service to some of the great venues for Edmonton events."

Devices will be available at gathering locations like the Edmonton Expo Centre, Rogers Place, and into more neighbourhoods in northeast and northwest Edmonton.

Petre said Bird had a successful year in Edmonton in 2022, and it is expecting similar success this year.

"We do see a lot more folks actually riding regularly, which makes us really excited."

Lime is also gearing up for a big season in the city.

"We’re very excited to be back in Edmonton for spring," Hayden Harvey of Lime told CTV News.

"As spring goes on, more vehicles will be hitting the streets, reaching a peak in the summer."

Harvey expects about 1,500 Lime vehicles to hit the streets this summer.

He says last summer saw record demands for the devices, and the company expects to see even more demand this year.

"As people have come out of the COVID bubble and things like that, we’re seeing folks getting back out on the street using our devices to get around car-free."

"Edmonton can often be in the top 10 ridership cities in North America."

Lime is introducing its Gen 4 scooters and bikes in Edmonton this year, which Harvey says are the most environmentally-friendly models ever produced.

"We have swappable batteries, first off. Those really reduce emissions across our operations, let scooters stay out on the streets longer, and stay more fully charged. They also go further."

The company will be hosting events throughout the city over the summer, teaching people riding tips, and handing out free helmets.

Harvey says he hopes riders will wear those helmets when they use Lime devices.

"We ask folks to make sure they’re following the rules of the road and wearing helmets."

Both Bird and Lime say their devices will be available to Edmontonians until snow flies in the fall.

The city released a written statement on the return of e-scooters on Thursday afternoon.

"Our priority remains the safety of all Edmontonians while supporting active travel options. E-scooter related calls to the City through 311 dropped to 52 in 2022 from 125 in 2021," said Shewkar Ibrahim, director of traffic operations.

"In the past, the City worked closely with vendors to educate and promote safe behaviours, and we look forward to continued collaboration in 2023. We do not anticipate any other major changes to the program, outside of the expanded service areas." 

With files from CTV News Edmonton's Jessica Robb. Top Stories

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