Calgarians can expect to see dockless, electric scooters hit the streets of Calgary as early as this week.
The new wheels are thanks to the launch of the Shared Electric Scooter Pilot, a 16-month pilot program that is expected to run until the end of October of 2020.
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Similar to the electric bike sharing program that was launched in September of last year, the electric scooter sharing program is part of The City of Calgary’s efforts to provide more public transportation choices that focus on health, environment and sustainability, according to a release from the City.
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“With the launch happening in July, we hope to see people taking advantage of the summer weather to try out a scooter in some of our most popular months for active transportation,” said Nathan Carswell, Shared Transportation Program Manager from The City of Calgary, in the release.
The pilot program will pause for the winter season from November 1, 2019 to March 15, 2020, resuming March 16, 2020 to October 31, 2020, after which The City of Calgary will evaluate the value and impact the pilot program has had on the city.
The implementation of the bike and electric scooter sharing pilot programs are expected to reduce carbon emissions, traffic congestion and parking demands, in addition to encouraging the public to more physically active, states the release.
“This pilot program is again demonstrating that the City of Calgary is working quickly to support business and emerging economic opportunities,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi in the release.
“Of course, public safety is crucial, and the pilot will also be focused on ensuring that any company operating electric scooters is doing so responsibly.”
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Here’s everything you need to know about the electric scooter sharing program:
1. How they work and where you can find them
The electric scooters are available for short-term rent by 18+ individuals for a fee determined by the operator. Since the Calgary scooter pilot program is dockless, the scooters are not required to be returned to a kiosk or docking station.
The scooters will be available throughout the city of Calgary, where each permitted operator will have their own designated service area. Each operator or scooter company will have their own GPS enabled phone app, which you can use to pay for and locate your electric scooter.
2. Where you can (and can’t) ride
You can ride the electric scooters on the sidewalks, exclusive bicycle lanes, or pathways. However, in the absence of these, you’re expected to dismount and walk your scooter.
Customers are also not allowed to ride their scooters on roadways.
3. Safety tips and parking
While helmets are not mandatory, they’re strongly encouraged. Shared electric scooters are available for riders aged 18 and over. The maximum speed limit is 20 km/hour and customers are expected to always yield to pedestrians on sidewalks.
Riders are expected to park their rented electric scooter in a “secure, upright position in designated areas, such as furniture zones of sidewalks, public bike racks and other marked parking zones.”
Riders are also encouraged to contact the scooter operator or company if they see a scooter that has toppled over or has been parked incorrectly.
It is also noted in the release that riding under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal.