Kelowna’s fourth e-scooter company launches

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Kelowna's fourth e-scooter company launched on Saturday. Jules Knox takes a look at the saturation of the market and how new rules could help the businesses.

A new bright yellow fleet of e-scooters is ready to zip around Kelowna’s waterfront walkway.

Roll E-Scooters launched on Sunday, joining three other companies already operating in the city.

E-scooters are currently restricted to certain areas, including the waterfront walkway and the rail trail.

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However, there have been a number of complaints about the devices, particularly in high pedestrian areas, according to a city council report.

At the last meeting, council asked staff to report back on restricting e-scooters on the waterfront walkway.

“That’s going to be a situation that we don’t want to see,” Roll CEO Richard Cao said. “But we also hope that we can have the regulation changes so we can operate in the city.”

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E-scooters are not currently allowed on the roads, but the province recently passed legislation that will allow the city to test the use of these scooters on the street.

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Cao said that many people have told him that they want to be able to hop on an e-scooter for short trips around town.

“When I’m talking to customers, they’re saying, ‘I want to go to work. I want to go grab my lunch during rush hour’,” he said. “That’s where can really serve our customers.”

According to a council report, there were more than 20,000 e-scooter rides over the last three months.

Most people went about three kilometres and spent an average of 22 minutes on the scooter.

The city is currently working with the transportation ministry to develop a pilot program that would allow e-scooters on the street, according to the report.