Electric scooters arrive in Edmonton with expanded operation areas

A Bird scooter in Edmonton April 4, 2023. Global News

The weather is warming, and Bird and Lime electric scooters officially arrived on Edmonton streets for the 2023 season this week.

“We do not anticipate any other major changes to the program, outside of expanding service areas,” said Shewkar Ibrahim, director of traffic operations with the city.

A spokesperson from Lime said it saw 21 per cent more rides in 2022 than the year before.

“We’re thrilled to launch what should be an amazing year for micromobility in Edmonton with new neighbourhoods added to the program and more vehicles to meet surging ridership,” said Lime.

This is the fifth year e-scooter and e-bike sharing services have been available in Edmonton.

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The City of Edmonton recently released data on rental e-scooter and e-bike trips that were taken between June and October 2022.

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There were about 397,400 trips taken with an average length of around 18 minutes and an average distance of 2.6 km.

Despite the push for scooters and bikes to be used as commuter options, the data shows they were used most commonly on Friday and Saturday nights, with a peak around 8 to 10 p.m.

The scooters and bikes were used most frequently in central areas like Oliver, Strathcona and Garneau, according to the dataset.

The most popular area of use was downtown, with more than 200,000 trips starting or ending there.

Scooters were by far the more popular option, with only about nine per cent of trips taken by e-bike.

Click to play video: 'E-scooters return to Edmonton for a 3rd year as spring weather draws people outdoors'
E-scooters return to Edmonton for a 3rd year as spring weather draws people outdoors

The city said e-bikes and scooters can be ridden on bike lanes, shared paths and on roads with a speed limit of 50 km/h or less.

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E-bikes and e-scooters are not permitted to be used on sidewalks or on park trails that are not maintained by the city.

The city said it’s mandatory to wear a helmet when riding an e-bike, no matter the age of the rider. There are currently no rules regarding helmets on e-scooters.

The scooters and bikes can be parked on sidewalks provided they don’t block an area where people are walking, biking or driving, or any doors, emergency exits, ramps, bus benches or shelters, the city said.

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