Love them or hate them, Calgary’s shared electric scooters will be back on city streets starting this Friday.
A release from the City of Calgary states that they have approved the return of the e-scooters as of May 22, though each company will have to limit their fleets to just 150 scooters, a reduction of about 85% from peak 2019 operations.
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The reduction is out of an abundance of caution, the release states, though it also noted that bikeshare systems in Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal have all operated throughout the pandemic and have not been connected to any COVID-19 transmission cases.
The reduced fleet measure will be in place until June 22, at which time the city will consider increasing fleet size “depending on whether scooter riders adhere to new public safety guidelines during COVID-19.”
The scooters will not be cleaned after each use, so it is on the individual rider to ensure that they are washing their hands before and after using the scooters, wiping them down with rider-supplied disinfectant wipes, avoiding touching their face while riding, and observing physical distancing guidelines — which means no doubling up.
Calgary’s current e-scooter companies, Bird and Lime, both plan to increase the frequency of cleaning.
The city release also noted that the speed of e-scooters will be automatically reduced from their max speed of 20 km/h down to 15 km/h whenever a rider enters a low speed zone, which are located on 4th Street SW in Mission, 9th Avenue SE in Inglewood, and along 10th Street and Kensington Road in Kensington.
Participating e-scooter companies are also paying for painted areas along pathways and bike lanes that will become designated scooter parking spots. The zones will be installed in June.
According to the release, e-scooter operators plan on offering free rides for health care and emergency workers.