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B.C. Government bringing electric scooter pilot project to the Okanagan

A set of e-scooters ready for rental in Ottawa. Bird Canada will join Lime and Neuron as providers in the city in 2021. Global News

Kelowna and Vernon will soon be receiving electric scooters for their downtown cores, thanks to a newly approved provincial pilot project.

The e-mobility project allows the B.C. government to partner with communities on a measured approach to assess e-mobility as a safe mode of transportation.

Read more: Liberals tap $2.75B in planned transit funding for electric buses

“We know people are changing the way they travel, and it’s important that our regulations address e-mobility as an emerging mode of personal transportation,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.

“We will be working closely with these communities to test and research how the electric kick scooter can get us where we need to go, safely for everyone.”

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Amendments to the B.C. Motor Vehicle Act in 2019 made it possible for the collaboration between the province and communities to bring the pilot project to fruition.

“The City of Kelowna is pleased to participate in the Province of B.C.’s Motor Vehicle Act pilot, which will allow more people to use Kelowna’s existing active transportation network,” said Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran.

“As the way people travel around our community changes, we look forward to continuing to work toward investments that support diverse, sustainable modes of transportation.”

Read more: Internal government poll shows strong support for electric vehicle subsidy

Before electric kick scooters can be legally used on municipal roads in these communities, local governments must first pass their own bylaws, specifying where these devices will be used.

“One of the city council’s top priorities is to create a more sustainable community, environmentally, economically and socially,” said Vernon Mayor Victor Cumming.

“Supporting active transportation modes such as electric kick scooters is critical to realizing our vision of being a leader in climate action.”

People using electric scooters must be 16-years-old or older, wear a helmet and follow rules of the road for cyclists.

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