Kelowna, Vernon get green light for e-scooters on roadways | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna, Vernon get green light for e-scooters on roadways

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March 23, 2021 - 11:00 AM

The province has approved a three-year pilot project allowing Kelowna and Vernon residents to operate e-scooters on roadways around the cities.

The project for six B.C. municipalities enables the province to partner with communities on a measured approach to assess e-mobility as a safe mode of personal transportation, according to a provincial news release, March 23.

“We know people are changing the way they travel, and it’s important that our regulations address e-mobility as an emerging mode of personal transportation,” Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Rob Fleming said in the press release. “We will be working closely with these communities to test and research how the electric kick scooter can get us where we need to go, safely for everyone.”

READ MORE: E-scooters will be back in Kelowna this summer

The six participating municipalities are Kelowna, Vernon, Vancouver, the City of North Vancouver, the District of North Vancouver and the District of West Vancouver.

B.C. Motor Vehicle Act amendments in 2019 made it possible for communities to collaborate with the province in a three-year pilot project that examines electric kick scooter safety on public roadways in select communities.

Currently, the act does not allow electronic personal transportation on public roads or sidewalks which includes e-scooters. 

Kelowna has offered e-scooter rentals in the past, but they were limited to the downtown core, along Abbott Street and on the Okanagan Rail Trail without provincial approval for roadways.

READ MORE: Winter weather not stopping ZIP e-scooters from expanding their operations in Kelowna

Before electric kick scooters can be legally used on municipal roads in these communities, municipalities must first pass their own bylaws, specifying where these devices will be used. People using e-scooters must be 16 years or older, wear a helmet and follow the rules of the road for cyclists. A driver’s licence and insurance are not required, according to the province.


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