Newer, safer E-Scooters coming to Ottawa this summer
Electric scooters have become one of the most popular forms of transportation in Ottawa during the summer, but this year riders will be introduced to some brand new technology.
They're fun and convenient. E-scooters have been extremely popular for the past few summers, and they’re coming back.
"Obviously, we’re very excited at the prospect of coming back to Ottawa," Derek Robertson of Lime Scooters says. "We’re excited to see what the residents of Ottawa think of the new scooter."
This year, riders will notice some changes.
"Under the hood there’s 100 plus sensors determining everything from geofencing your exact location," Robertson says. "Whether the scooter may have tipped over or not. As well as if you’re going up over a sidewalk."
Brand new scooters are coming, with new features and technology to adhere to rules that the city has put in place.
"If you park in a no-parking zone, you’re not allowed to actually end your trip," Robertson says.
The scooters will not work on sidewalks, cannot be left in non-parking areas, and will make an audible sound to alert pedestrians that they are approaching.
"They didn’t realize that Ottawa would be such a hot spot, whether its tourism or scooting," Coun. Tim Tierney says. "People love these things."
Last year, three companies operated a total of 1,200 scooters in Ottawa, resulting in nearly 500 thousand trips. This year, the city is cutting it to two companies with fewer scooters.
"We’ve decided just to put tighter control, knowing it’s just going to be two fleet operators that will be selected through a process," says Tierney. "We’re going down to 900."
Bird Canada is one of the companies vying for a spot here with their new Generation 3 Scooter.
"We have a whole new generation of brand new scooters that we’d like to bring," says Bird Canada CEO Stewart Lyons. "The wheels are bigger. The footboard is longer. It’s much more stable."
Just like Lime, Bird as fully revamped their scooters to make it safer for everyone.
"We can figure out with precision, much greater precision than we had before, where a scooter is and where it’s going," says Lyons. "And that helps us prevent things like sidewalk riding. It helps us do things like precision parking which forces it to park in a 20 centimetre box."
Another big change, companies will now have only 15 minutes to retrieve a misplaced scooter, down from one hour.
Regardless of which two companies win the chance to operate in Ottawa this summer, the scooters look like they’re here to stay for years to come.