Guelph to consider allowing e-scooters on city streets

E-scooters have been popular in larger cities, and are a subject of debate in Guelph, Ont. Roll Technologies / Supplied

We could soon be seeing e-scooters on city streets in Guelph.

Council at Tuesday’s committee of the whole meeting unanimously passed a motion asking staff to come back with a report that would see an amendment to the traffic bylaw.

Guelph is one municipality in Ontario that is not taking part in a five-year pilot project by the provincial government on the use of e-scooters. That pilot project is set to expire on Jan. 1, 2025.

Councillor Rodrigo Goller, who moved the motion, said: “With an increase in the number of community members using e-scooters, I think it would be beneficial for the city of Guelph to get ahead of this.”

Goller went on to say that the bylaw amendment should also include rules on where and when e-scooters are not supposed to be used.

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At the meeting, Adrian Salvatore of the Guelph Coalition for Active Transportation spoke to the committee in support of the motion.

“We consider e-scooters a part of the active transportation family and we welcome them,” said Salvatore, adding the portability of e-scooters makes them easy to take to work and store inside.

The motion also asks for input from the Guelph Police Service in regard to the enforcement of e-scooters on city streets, and recommendations regarding a public education campaign. It will also bypass a formal public consultation process citing the 18 months remaining in the pilot project.

Mayor Cam Guthrie feels the city missed out on getting ahead by not allowing e-scooters on city streets when the first opportunity arose.

“We should not have said ‘no’ to this a few years ago,” said Guthrie. “Look at all the surrounding communities that are way ahead of us on this.”

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Guthrie added that it is the citizens of these communities that are taking the initiative of using e-scooters.

The report is expected to be brought forward at the July 5 committee of the whole meeting.


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