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Halifax launches survey on publicly accessible e-scooters, bikes

Bird e-scooters spotted on Whyte Avenue near 106 Street in Edmonton's Old Strathcona area on Friday, August 16, 2019.
Bird e-scooters spotted on Whyte Avenue near 106 Street in Edmonton's Old Strathcona area on Friday, August 16, 2019. Morris Gamblin, Global News

Halifax is taking its residents’ temperatures about offering publicly available sharing services centred on bikes, electric bikes and electric scooters.

The Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) says the survey will help it gauge the best approaches to enabling, delivering and regulating a potential “micromobility” service.

Micromobility is an umbrella term to encompass services that provide public access to personal vehicles for transportation purposes.

Kelowna, Toronto, Hamilton, Calgary, Edmonton and Montreal are some Canadian cities that offer similar services.

READ MORE: Montreal’s 2019 BIXI season ends on a high note with record-breaking year

In particular, Montreal has found great success in offering the BIXI Montreal bike service.

The non-profit started in 2014 and has experienced an 80 per cent increase in ridership in five years.

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According to the service, 2019 was a record-breaking year with more than 320,000 individual users logging over 10 million kilometres of travel.

The HRM, according to its draft vision of the project, believes the micromobility service “will provide mobility options to connect people of all ages, abilities, and incomes to each other and to everyday destinations.”

“It will be an environmentally sustainable travel option to safely support active lifestyles. The system will be affordable and easy to use for both residents and visitors,” the draft vision states.

Pedestrians push back against e-scooters on Edmonton sidewalks
Pedestrians push back against e-scooters on Edmonton sidewalks

Any service is still far from becoming reality but the 15-question survey is one of the first steps in establishing whether the system would be well received in the HRM.

A final report on the findings from the survey is expected to be delivered to the municipality’s transportation standing committee in spring 2020.

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A final report will arrive in front of Halifax Regional Council sometime after that.

With files from Annabelle Olivier