City of Vancouver to seek public e-scooter share contractor in late 2023

Dec 31 2022, 3:11 am

It will likely take a while longer for the City of Vancouver to launch its pilot project of a public electric scooter share service.

In a recent memo to Vancouver City Council, City staff state they are aiming to begin the bidding process for a service operator for e-scooter share starting in Fall 2023. This timeline for launching the request for proposals (RFP) late next year possibly suggests the service will not be ready until sometime in 2024.

Since Summer 2021, the City of Vancouver has permitted the use of personal/private e-scooters on bike lanes and local streets as part of its participation in the provincial government’s pilot project of partnering with select municipalities to test e-scooters. But at the time, City Council’s decision came short of allowing an e-scooter share service over safety, accessibility, and public space clutter concerns.

City staff note that they will be completing a report in Spring 2023 on their findings of the current pilot project of allowing personal/private e-scooters. This data, combined with feedback from advisory committees and best practices research, will help create the framework for the bidding process to come.

“Staff anticipate that the successful proponent of the RFP will provide a system which will potentially be revenue-neutral or revenue-generating for the City, provide local living wage jobs, and include a Council-directed equity program. To protect riders and vulnerable users, the system is anticipated to be station-based and supported as much as possible by safe and separated All Ages and Abilities facilities,” reads the memo.

“A well-defined RFP will expedite the subsequent step of developing an agreement with the successful proponent(s) and defining the detailed program design, contract terms, and implementation plan.”

It is also noted by City staff that the creation of the RFP and subsequent e-scooter share pilot project will require funding in the 2023 operating budget, which will be finalized by City Council in March.

By approving a member motion in June 2022, City Council directed City staff to launch a e-scooter share pilot project.

Other jurisdictions in BC that have already permitted a public e-scooter share service under the provincial pilot program include KelownaĀ andĀ Richmond, which both use the services of multinational giant Lime.

The City of Vancouver first launched its public Mobi bike share service in 2016, under an operating and maintenance partnership with Miami-based CycleHop. Earlier this year, Mobi further expanded its Vancouver bike share system with 500 e-bikes and 50 additional stations.

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