Free e-scooting in Kelowna today but you will be 'fenced' in - InfoNews

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Free e-scooting in Kelowna today but you will be 'fenced' in

Ogo Scooter co-owner Chris Szydloski demonstrates the new e-scooters for rent in Kelowna.
July 12, 2019 - 11:49 AM

KELOWNA - Ogo Scooters launched the first-ever e-scooter riding service in Kelowna this morning, July 12, with 25 of its 60 scooters put on display beside the downtown Tourist Information Centre.

“This is the first place in Canada to launch an e-scooter program,” Chris Szydloski, co-owner of the Kelowna based company, told a crowd of journalists and spectators. “Couldn’t be a better spot. Look behind us here. It’s an incredible spot. It’s a beautiful city. We’re just incredibly proud to be part of it.”

Ogo is the first of three companies to launch an e-scooter program in Kelowna and should be fully operational by tomorrow with pick-up locations along Kelowna’s waterfront.

The scooters cost $1 to start up using the Ogo app then bill 30 cents a minute. Today only, they are free for anyone to try.

But, given the provincial traffic laws, they are all “geo-fenced” so they are limited in where they can be ridden. They are legal along pathways from just south of the Hotel Eldorado to UBCO along the Rail Trail.

If riders go beyond the geo-fence boundaries, the scooter will slow down and give two 15-second warnings, then stop all together.

Technically, they are not legally allowed on roads or bike lanes. The province is reviewing those rules and will likely change them within the year, according to Matt Worona, the city’s active transportation co-ordinator.

They’re also illegal on sidewalks.

The scooters can travel about 45 km on one charge and can be dropped anywhere for the Ogo crews to pick up, but a rewards program is being developed as an incentive to have them returned to their points of origin.

Safety is also a big concern with helmets provided for each scooter. They also come with headlights and running board lights.

Szydloski isn’t worried about the competition from Zip and Spin, which have not yet announced when they will launch

“The most important thing for us is to provide a really good service,” Szydloski said. “I’m not worried about the others.”

Tomy Thisdale helps set up the 25 Ogo e-scooters on display today, July 12, 2019
Tomy Thisdale helps set up the 25 Ogo e-scooters on display today, July 12, 2019

Chris Szydloski shows media how to activate the Ogo e-scooter.
Chris Szydloski shows media how to activate the Ogo e-scooter.

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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2019
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