E-scooters get the green light to return to Ottawa streets this summer
Two women ride e-scooters in Ottawa's ByWard Market, Aug. 31, 2020. (Dave Charbonneau / CTV News Ottawa)
OTTAWA -- E-scooters rolled onto Ottawa streets over the weekend.
The city of Ottawa gave the green light for e-scooter providers Bird Canada, Lime and Neuron to deploy scooters on streets across Ottawa.
As part of the second year of the pilot project, up to 1,200 e-scooters will be available to rent through an app.
"Last summer, it was the most magical thing," said Massimo Ounardon. "For us students we don’t really have a car or anything. These are such a viable option, they’re so sustainable. It’s really what we’ve been asking for."
Residents say the e-scooters are a great way to explore the city during the pandemic.
"Going on the scooters during COVID is a great thing because nothing happens to be open but it's a really great way to explore the city," said Dan Etherington.
"Mostly to see the city from a different perspective," said Bianca Vachon.
Vachon loved renting scooters so much last summer, she decided to purchase her own this spring.
"I don’t even need to care about traffic. I don’t need to care about parking," said Vachon. "It’s like parking, you just take the handle, you put it down and take the scooter with you."
Bird is back for a second summer providing e-scooters in Ottawa.
We know the technology works. We know the residents of Ottawa that use the technology absolutely love it," said Austin Spademan, associate general manager of Bird Ottawa. "And we know that what we are doing is actually taking cars off of roads."
Spademan says you can rent a Bird scooter through an app.
"It's a $1.15 to unlock and you've unlocked the scooter," said Spademan. "It's $0.35 a minute there onward and you're basically free to ride the scooter all throughout the downtown area of Ottawa."
Here is a look at the rules for the shared e-scooters in Ottawa:
- Riders must be 16 years or older
- The operating speed limit is 20 km/h
- Shared e-scooters from providers can be used daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
- For riders under 18, a helmet is required to ride the e-scooter
- Each scooter is allowed a single rider at a time
- Follow proper riding and parking behaviour
- E-scooters are prohibited on sidewalks
The fine for violations such as sidewalk riding is $150.
E-scooters are allowed to operate on Ottawa's multi-use pathways, cycling facilities, like cycle tracks and bike lanes, and on roads.
The scooters are prohibited on National Capital Commission pathways and in the City of Gatineau.
Last summer, more than 72,720 unique riders took more than 238,000 rides on e-scooters between July 16 and Oct. 31. Bird Canada, Lime and Roll were permitted to rent scooters to users across Ottawa last summer..
E-scooters will deployed until November 30.