Electric scooters could be part of Kelowna's bikesharing offerings - InfoNews

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Electric scooters could be part of Kelowna's bikesharing offerings

A Lime-S electric scooter in San Diego, California is pictured in this image from Wikimedia Commons. This is similar to the type of electric scooter that may be coming to Kelowna.
Image Credit: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/Malhal
June 04, 2019 - 4:06 PM

KELOWNA - While it’s called bikeshare, the City of Kelowna may end up with scooters as the first type of “active transportation” vehicle for rent this summer.

The City ran a highly successful pilot project with Dropbike last year and has created a new permitting system for this year. Dropbike chose not to come back, but as of today, June 4, the City has already received two applications for permits.

The first one, for pedal bikes, was received a couple of weeks ago and met all the city’s requirements. All the proponent has to do is show proof of insurance and provide a deposit.

Matt Worona, the City’s Active transportation coordinator, had expected that to happen last week, but hasn’t heard back from the proponent.

Today, he got another application for a permit, this time for a scooters. These are like the small platforms that were propelled by foot, not the mini-electric motorbikes.

“We’re trying to make sure there is variety of different vehicles types for different types of trips, for different types of abilities,” Worona told iNFOnews.ca. “Some people don’t feel comfortable on a bike or simply don’t know how to ride one. There’s lots of different things that might be barriers for people, so what we’re trying to do open the door to as many different vehicle types as possible.”

He won’t give the names of the applicants until they are approved, but scooter company, Lime, is reported to have had discussions with Vancouver and the province recently.

The problem with the scooters is they are not allowed on city streets or highways.

Worona got Kelowna city council to lobby the province to make them legal, but that could take some time. He did get council to approve them for use on city pathways along Abbott Street and the trail from downtown to Dilworth that joins the Okanagan Rail Trail, where they are legal.

Since the application forms require about 50 pages of documentation, it may take a week or two for the city to process this latest one. If that’s approved, or the pedal bike proponent completes its application, there’s no indication of how long it will take to get wheels on the ground.


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