With the arrival of spring weather, so too comes the return of electric scooters on Edmonton streets. It’s the third year both Bird Canada and Lime have operated in the city.
Bird announced Friday its e-scooters had returned to the city, available to rent 24/7 in the same zones as 2020.
The service areas for the scooters encompass the city’s core — downtown, Oliver and parts of Westmount on the north side of the river and in Old Strathcona and the University of Alberta areas to the south — similar to 2019 when e-scooters first came to Edmonton.
Bird said it would begin the 2021 scooting season with 150 scooters, and would increase availability as the weather gets warmer and demand grows. The company said last year, there were roughly 2000 e-scooters on the streets.
The company said this year, it’s offering a new weekly unlock pass for $4 as well as an unlimited day pass for $17. It also gives frequent riders a discount.
On Wednesday, Edmonton became the first Canadian city to welcome Lime scooters back in 2021, according to the company.
To start, the shared electric vehicle company said it would relaunch 100 e-scooters Wednesday afternoon “before ramping up its fleet to meet demand.”
This year, Lime is emphasizing how the scooters are a great way to travel while remaining physically distant.
In 2020, Edmontonians took nearly 500,000 trips with Lime.
“Lime is thrilled to be back on the streets of Edmonton in 2021 after providing important essential transportation services during the height of the pandemic last year,” said Jonathan Hopkins.
“This year will be all about revival, helping Edmonton businesses recover, encouraging residents to get outside and see friends once vaccinated and helping visitors return to the city at long last.”
Still, Lime said it has enhanced its cleaning methods and increased the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting the scooters.
As always, the companies encourage riders to wear a helmet, use bike lanes instead of sidewalks and follow traffic laws.
The scooters do not have docking stations to return to and instead can be parked on sidewalks, parking lanes, at transit centres, rec centres and on parkland. The scooters cannot block doors or travel for people walking, biking or driving.