B.C. pilot study to allow e-scooters to operate legally in six cities

Click to play video: 'Electric scooter pilot program launched in B.C.'
Electric scooter pilot program launched in B.C.
The B.C. government is allowing electric kick scooters on the streets of six cities, as part of a three-year pilot project to test their safety on the province's streets. Ted Chernecki reports. – Mar 23, 2021

VANCOUVER — A newly approved pilot project will allow electric kick scooters to legally cruise the streets and bike paths of six British Columbia municipalities.

The Ministry of Transportation says in a statement the pilot project gives the province and the selected local governments a chance to assess the safety of electronic personal transportation.

Click to play video: 'Vancouver councillor wants to see shared e-scooter pilot by fall'
Vancouver councillor wants to see shared e-scooter pilot by fall

The B.C. Motor Vehicle Act doesn’t allow transportation such as electric scooters on roads or sidewalks, but a 2019 amendment permits communities to work with the province on pilot projects.

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The six participating municipalities where e-scooters will soon be legal are Kelowna, Vernon, Vancouver, West Vancouver and North Vancouver city and district.

Once those governments pass bylaws saying where the devices can be used, e-scooters will be treated like e-bikes, where a driver’s licence or insurance won’t be needed but riders must be at least 16, wear a helmet and follow the rules of the road.

Dates for the passage of local bylaws haven’t been set, but Mayor Kennedy Stewart says Vancouver aims to begin a trial of privately owned devices like e-scooters later this year.

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