E-scooter rentals pass 20,000 mark in Kelowna | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna News

E-scooter rentals pass 20,000 mark in Kelowna

Chris Szydloski, co-owner of Ogo Scooters, was the first to launch an e-scooter operation in Kelowna.

More than 20,000 e-scooter rides were taken in the three months that the shared e-scooter program has been operating in Kelowna.

There were never more than 100 scooters available through three rental outlets on any single day, says a report going to Kelowna city council Monday, Nov. 4. The average trip covered 2.8 km and lasted 22 minutes. Usage peaked at the end of August.

“For a mid-size community, this is a strong indication of success and future potential,” the report states. “The length and duration of trips proves there is potential to connect using the road network for short trips through and between our urban centres and allow for e-scooters and emerging micromobility options to be delivered as a convenient transportation solution.”

These numbers were generated from mid-July to mid-October for rental units that were “geofenced” to a narrow area along Okanagan Lake and on the Okanagan Rail Trail.

In 2018, Dropbike registered 35,000 rides but that covered a five-month period from mid-June to mid-November. E-scooter operators are planning to operate through this winter and e-bikes are expected to be added by the end of November.

It’s also expected that the provincial government will change the rules soon and allow e-scooters onto bike lanes and/or roadways, greatly increasing their range.

The City’s permitting program allows for e-scooters, e-bikes and pedal bikes but e-mopeds are being added as a “micromobility” option.

“Shared e-mopeds are different from other permitted vehicles and as a result need to be parked in parking stalls and pay for the parking they consume while also paying for an On-Street Parking Permit,” the report states. “They will be insured, plated, titled and require a valid class 5 license in compliance with ICBC regulations.”

Some conflicts were noted in peak hours in some areas along the waterfront so the City is looking for funding to have a separate cycling/scooter path built. Speeds are also reduced between the Tourist Information Centre downtown and the Abbott Street/Bernard Avenue intersection.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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