People living in six B.C. municipalities who want to use electric kick scooters will soon be on their way, thanks to a newly approved provincial pilot project.
The pilot project allows the B.C. government to partner with communities on a measured approach to assess e-mobility as a safe mode of personal transportation.
“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,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “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.”
The six participating municipalities are:
- City of Kelowna
- City of Vancouver
- City of North Vancouver
- District of North Vancouver
- District of West Vancouver
- City of Vernon
Amendments to the B.C. Motor Vehicle Act in 2019 made it possible for communities to collaborate with the Province in a three-year pilot project that examines the safety of the electric kick scooter on public roadways in the select communities.
“People throughout B.C. are eager for new, emerging ways to move around their communities,” said Bowinn Ma, Minister of State for Infrastructure and MLA for North Vancouver-Lonsdale. “I have heard from many people in North Vancouver and around the province who are looking forward to embracing micro-mobility devices like electric kickscooters.”
Currently, the act does not allow electronic personal transportation (e-mobility devices) on public roads or sidewalks. This includes electric kick scooters, an emerging and popular mode of personal transportation.
“To achieve a low-carbon future, our government is supporting clean transportation technologies that make life better for people,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “Our CleanBC plan supports active transportation for people of all ages and abilities. By partnering with municipalities, we’re finding safe, efficient ways to get around without increasing pollution.”
Before electric kick scooters can be legally used on municipal roads in these communities, local governments must first pass their own bylaws, specifying where these devices will be used.
The rules of use are like the rules for an e-bike. People using electric kick 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.
As part of the Active Transportation Strategy, Move. Commute. Connect., these pilot projects are examples of government working with communities to find alternative solutions for personal mobility. E-mobility use is expected to contribute to the CleanBC goal of doubling trips taken by walking, biking and other kinds of active networks by the year 2030.