This week residents started to see the return of electric kick-scooters around the downtown core. Through a competitive process, the City has selected two providers for the 2022 electric kick scooter pilot program: Bird Canada and Neuron Mobility.
The season will begin in a few pre-selected neighborhoods and expanding to a larger operational area to ensure the new required technologies are functioning as required. Both providers will be taking a phased approach, with Neuron e-scooters hitting the road on Wednesday, July 6, and Bird e-scooters launching next week.
On Wednesday, March 23, City Council approved a third season of the e-scooter pilot project to operate on City streets. This year’s pilot will have a fleet of 900 e-scooters available for residents to use, a reduction from the 2021 fleet of 1,200 e-scooters, and will operate until Tuesday, November 15, weather permitting.
The 2022 program will focus on continuing to reduce accessibility impacts, such as sidewalk riding and improperly parked e-scooters.
New this year
E-scooters will now emit a continuous sound when in use to alert other residents of their approach. The City will be helping to lead the industry in using this technology in advance of any worldwide accessibility standard. The City will also be working closely with stakeholders and providers to adjust the type of sound emitted as refinements are made throughout the season.
New technologies have also been implemented to deter sidewalk riding and improperly parked e-scooters. This includes the use of the latest GPS technologies and Artificial Intelligence that allows for more accurate location of individual e-scooters, as well as education programs, a greater number of provider staff proactively patrolling, monitoring and communicating with riders, and the issuance of fines and/or the suspension of users.
E-scooter provider apps will now only allow riders to end their rides in either the City installed physically designated parking areas or approved virtually designated areas in appropriate sidewalk adjacent furniture zones (only on sidewalks at least two metres wide). If an e-scooter is improperly parked, the rider will continue to be charged a fee until it is properly parked or retrieved by the provider. Providers have also implemented fines and will remove users from their app who disregard the local rules, including sidewalk riding and improper parking.
Reporting misparked e-scooters will be easier this season. Residents can report improper e-scooter parking and usage through a new e-form on ottawa.ca or by calling 3-1-1. When a report is received, service providers will have 15 minutes to collect an improperly parked e-scooter. Dedicated By-law officers will also be monitoring parking and relocating or impounding e-scooters as required.
Residents and visitors can unlock an e-scooter through the provider app between 6 am and 11 pm throughout the season. To learn more about the e-scooter program, including rider rules, deployment areas and where to park, visit the E-scooters webpage on ottawa.ca, or visit the provider’s mobile applications.