Ottawa police and parking control officers patrolling on e-bikes
Parking control officer Laneagh Shanahan.
Ottawa Police Bikes and Beats Unit on e-bikes.
Ottawa's parking enforcement officers are buzzing around town on E-bikes now.
The battery-powered bicycles give them greater range in this ever-growing city.
Turns out they're not the only folks enforcing the law in a more eco-friendly way.
You may have seen them around town but you won't hear them. These e-bikes are quiet. And that's one reason Ottawa Police have started using them.
In a grid-locked city the size of Ottawa, getting around by car to do your job is sometimes impossible.
Enter the electric bike or e-bike. Ottawa Parking control officer Jeffrey Eyre can go for hours now marking tires without breaking stride.
‘‘For the past 2 years, I was riding a regular bicycle,” says Eyre, “Just this past summer, I’ve been riding this e-bike for past 2 months. It’s been great.”
Ottawa's Bylaw and Regulatory Service has 6 e-bikes on the road, with 4 more coming, along with several hybrid cars; all in a move to go green.
‘‘We've got a huge area to cover,” says Alison Sandor, the Public Information Officer with Bylaw and Regulatory Services, “and we are spending a lot in gas and it is not good for the environment; so every time we purchase something, we look at ways to make it greener.”
These e-bikes can travel about 37 kilometres an hour and last an entire 8-hour shift before the battery needs boosting.
“It helps a lot because it's a lot faster,” says Parking Control Officer Laneagh Shanahan, “If we had area to do in a car or walking, it would take us an hour. On the e-bike, it takes us 15 minutes to get around whole area. We typically use it only for Centretown beats and in the market and stuff like that. It is a lot more efficient.”
And it's not just bylaw hopping on e-bikes. Ottawa Police are testing them as well and currently have 7 in their fleet.
Police have been testing 3 different models now for about a year. It's allowed them to respond to calls quicker and quieter.
“We can be working in the Market, get a call in Vanier and commute sometimes quicker than a car,” says Sergeant Shawn Graham with the Ottawa Police Bikes and Beats Unit.
Unlike bylaw though, Ottawa's Bikes and Beats Unit will roll year-round on these e-bikes.
“If we had to commute from the market to Vanier on a regular bike,” says Sgt. Graham, “there is a good chance we'd be exhausted when we got there and then we need to deal with a high stress call as opposed to using the e-bike, we get there and refreshed and ready to handle it. It is just like arriving in a cruiser.”
Ottawa Paramedics use regular bikes only for special events and have no plans to go the e-bike route.