Scoot over bikes! E-scooter popularity soars compared to e-bikes in Calgary

Roughly 100,000 trips since e-scooters were launched in Calgary

There are around 8,000 trips per day on E-scooters. (LIVEWIRE FILE PHOTO)

Calgarians wheelie like electric scooters.

So much so, by the end of the week the City expects there will be more than 100,000 trips logged onto electric scooters with around 8,000 trips per day. 

Compare that number to the 120,000 LimeBike trips since last October and a spokesperson with the City says they expect the pilot project to be a success – adding they will tweak the rules if need be.

With all those trips however, there’s bound to be a few bad apples.

Others in the active transport community welcome the addition of e-scooters to Calgary’s pathways.

“Generally we are supportive and we support all forms of active transportation which does include e-scooters,” said Garry Lohuis, Vice president and director of Bike Calgary.

“I did see one instance of two people riding on a scooter so there are some things that do happen, but I’d say generally the experience has been positive.” 

One of the bigger issues that’s going to arise according to Lohuis is the need for more separated path infrastructure. As scooters are only allowed on sidewalks, pathways and bike lanes, they might look for other options.

“What’s going to happen is those riding scooters are going to start to use the streets. Which is illegal for scooters but legal for bicycles. So I can understand the confusion some people have.” 

Calgary 311 had received 23 calls about scooters, they said Wednesday, but are quick to point out those aren’t necessarily complaints. Generally the calls are about inquiries on how to use the actual scooters.

The City of Calgary outlines the rules on their website. But here are the basics:

  • Minimum age to ride is 18+
  • One person per scooter
  • You can use City sidewalks, bike lanes or pathways. In the absence of a sidewalk, exclusive bicycle lane or pathway, the customer must dismount and walk the electric scooter.
  • You are not allowed to operate a scooter on a roadway
  • Helmets are not required but are strongly encouraged

Lime has additional Scooter Riding Tips:

  • Once you start your trip, give the brake a tight squeeze to ensure it’s working properly
  • Ride defensively: Wear a helmet and reflective or bright clothing, respect the right of way and don’t ever ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Don’t use your mobile device while riding and avoid wearing headphones.

Lime was the first company to launch electric scooters when the pilot project launched in July. Bird launched their version of electric scooters in the city earlier this week.

The pilot will run until October 2020 at which point the City will evaluate the impact and value of electric shooter sharing in the City.

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