Ottawa picks three e-scooter providers, waits for green light to launch the program
Two women ride e-scooters in Ottawa's ByWard Market, Aug. 31, 2020. (Dave Charbonneau / CTV News Ottawa)
OTTAWA -- The city of Ottawa has selected three companies to offer e-scooters to rent in Ottawa this spring and summer, but it's unclear when the two-wheeled vehicles will hit the streets as Ottawa remains under a stay-at-home order.
Bird Canada, Lime and Neuron have been selected as the preferred proponents for the second year of the e-scooter pilot project. A total of 1,200 e-scooters will be available to rent through an app this year, compared to 600 last year.
"Residents can look forward to seeing e-scooters on our streets to support essential travel needs once a safe launch date has been determined in consultation with Ottawa Public Health,' said Coun. Tim Tierney on Twitter.
The city says staff are working with public health and other city departments to determine a launch date and rollout of the program.
When the scooters do launch, the e-scooter app will provide tips for handwashing and physical distancing consistent with public health guidelines due to COVID-19.
Ottawa is currently under a stay-at-home order, with officials urging people to limit non-essential travel outside of the home.
Bird and Lime scooters were part of the city’s pilot project last summer.
The scooters will be available through an app from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. They have a 20 km/h speed limit and are not allowed on sidewalks, National Capital Commission pathways or in the City of Gatineau. E-scooters will be allowed to be walked on to the O-Train this year.
Shared e-scooters are for single riders 16 or older and are equipped with a bell, a brake and lights. Helmets are recommended for all riders and are mandatory for riders under 18.
Council enacted the Electric Kick Scooter Bylaw in June 2020, making it legal to operate e-scooters in Ottawa. In February, Council approved the second season of the e-scooter pilot project between April 1 and Nov. 30.
The city says this year, the focus is on reducing sidewalk riding and improper parking.
The e-scooters are not allowed on sidewalks, National Capital Commission pathways or in the City of Gatineau