Scooters And One Wheels

Begin of the e-scooter sharing program introduced in Could after approval by the council

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Brian Cross A rider on a Bird Canada e-scooter. Photo by Bird Canada /.Windsor Star

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Bird Canada CEO expects Windsorites to enthusiastically adopt e-scooters and frequently ride them instead of cars.

The main goal for the e-scooter / e-bike sharing company is “vehicle replacement,” which measures the percentage of e-scooter trips made by people who would otherwise have taken a car, Stewart Lyons said in one Interview on Tuesday. The day after Windsor City Council approved, Bird Canada approved the offer to run the city’s first scooter / bike sharing program as a one-year pilot.

“I expect Windsor to be the same as Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa and Montreal, where 30 to 40 percent of the vehicles have been replaced.”

Lyons said the project would start sometime in May. A vehicle replacement of 30 to 40 percent means that every two and a half to three e-scooter trips will replace a car trip, he said. “This is really important, not only to meet the greenhouse gas emissions targets, but also to reduce vehicle traffic in general and keep roads safe.”

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A man preparing to ride a Bird Canada e-scooter. Photo by Bird Canada /.Windsor Star

The service operates around the clock with lights and reflectors on the scooters in a core area bounded by the riverside walking trails, Drouillard Road, Tecumseh Road, and Prince Road. Bird Canada’s offering is 500 e-scooters and 100 e-bikes, although Lyons said the e-bikes may not arrive in time for launch due to the global shortage of bicycles caused by soaring demand during the pandemic . According to Lyons, e-scooters have become a far more popular part of sharing programs in recent years.

“Usually people find it fun, enjoyable, and a great way to get around, especially to take advantage of our relatively short Canadian summers.”

The system does not have a dock, ie there are no bulky dock systems to hold and charge the e-scooter. Instead, they are distributed throughout the area, which is in the so-called “furniture zone” of the sidewalk. This is usually a paved space between the sidewalk and the street that pedestrians don’t normally walk on.

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You will be called with an app that you can download to your phone and that will be charged to your credit card. The app has a map on which available e-scooters can be found nearby. “People can scan (the scooter) with the app and start their ride,” Lyons said. “And they can drive to their destination and when the journey is over they scan the scooter again and end the journey.”

A man drives a Bird Canada e-scooter. Photo by Bird Canada /.Windsor Star

The scooter can be left where it is. A team from Bird Canada will pick it up at night and redistribute the e-scooters to ensure proper coverage. You will be returned to a central location for recharging.

The price is the same across Canada: an activation fee of $ 1.15 to start your trip, then 35 cents per minute.

The idea is that a typical ride should cost as much as a bus ride – $ 3 or $ 4.

Bird was one of three firms to respond to a city request for proposals in January after years of pondering the best way to deploy a stock system. During this time, the concept evolved from a system with regular bicycles and fixed docking stations, which could cost the city hundreds of thousands in startup costs, to a dockless system. The landscape changed again last year when the Ontario government put e-scooters on the road in a five-year pilot project.

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The pilot program for sharing bicycles and e-scooters will be carried out without taxpayers’ money, according to an administrative report. Bird Canada is required to pay a license fee of US $ 10,000 after one year and an administration fee of US $ 1 per device per day of operation. That equates to $ 110,400 if the program runs for 184 days from May through October.

The prescribed area is geofenced, which means that when you drive beyond the perimeter, the GPS-equipped e-scooters beep, slow down and finally stop and freeze. The company always knows where its scooters are. If someone tries to steal a scooter worth several thousand dollars, it won’t work. If someone tries to take it apart, the motor will stall.

  1. The pilot project for sharing e-scooters is expected to start this year

  2. City councils welcome e-scooters on trails, in buses and largely without helmets

Lyons said people are encouraged to wear helmets and if you request one through the app, one will be sent to you for free. At least twice a year, the company hosts safety days where employees pitch a tent to hand out free helmets and teach people how to properly drive a scooter. And there are road teams who drive around during the day promoting safe driving.

He said that educating people about safe driving and proper etiquette is also done through the app. There are a number of instructions you need to go through before you are allowed to drive for the first time. Stickers adorn the e-scooters and remind drivers to wear a helmet, park appropriately and not drive on the sidewalk. The maximum speed is 20 km / h.

bcross@postmedia.com

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