Waiting on e-scooter season in Ottawa
When Ottawa resident Liv Richmond looks for a scooter on her app, she’s out of luck.
“I don’t see any icons for actual scooters,” said the 25-year-old. For the past few summers, she travelled around the Ottawa using one of the city’s e-scooter rentals. “They’re really fast, relatively affordable.”
This time last year, downtown streets were full of people zipping by on scooters. The city has approved a third season of its e-scooter program, but we have yet to see any.
“The scooters aren’t there because we are finishing up the final touches,” said Stewart Lyons, the CEO of Bird Canada, one of two companies operating scooters this summer in Ottawa. Lyons says the additional features and technology updates that adhere to the city of Ottawa’s rules are taking some time.
“The scooters didn’t make noise last year, now they do. Scooters could be parked anywhere, now they can’t, and scooters—if you were one of the culprits that took tem on the sidewalk you could—now you can’t do that,” he said, adding the company hopes to deploy their scooters just after Canada Day weekend. Meanwhile, Neuron Mobility did not give CTV Ottawa a timeline for their launch date.
The city of Ottawa tells CTV News the exact start of the 2022 season is still to be confirmed, depending on companies gearing up their operations, shipping the e-scooters to Ottawa and additional approvals by the city.
This year will also see designated parking zones and fewer scooters on the streets. The fleet size now at 900, down from 1,200 last year. The 2022 season is approved to operate until November 15, 2022, weather permitting. As we inch closer to July, many users are hoping the scooters come soon.