OTTAWA – More e-scooters could be rented in more Ottawa locations this spring and summer as the city of Ottawa plans to expand its fleet for the second year of an electric scooter pilot.
A report to the Transport Committee recommends continuing the program so that three e-scooter companies can rent e-scooters between April 15 and October 31.
Employees propose increasing the e-scooter fleet from 600 in 2020 to 1,200 to 1,500 in 2021.
“The new fleet size takes into account the demand for e-scooters during the midsummer season, considerations for issue management, the desire for a broader central area of application and the possibility of satellite operation outside the green belt,” said the report for the meeting of the transport committee on Wednesday .
“In August and September, the existing fleet was not always able to meet the high demand for e-scooters.”
The employees recommend expanding the pilot project for e-scooters outside of the Greenbelt, with 300 of the 1,200 to 1,500 scooters being used in the suburbs.
“In addition to residents who requested a larger area of operation, some BIAs also requested e-scooters,” said the report for the transport committee, which added the Kanata North business area and the Vanier district.
Last summer, more than 72,720 single riders made more than 238,000 trips with e-scooters between July 16 and October 31. Bird Canada, Lime and Roll were allowed to rent scooters to users across Ottawa.
The city approved the electric scooter pilot after the Ontario government gave municipalities the go-ahead to allow e-scooters in cities.
In addition to the expansion of the e-scooter pilot project outside the Greenbelt, there will be new restrictions for the scooters on the ByWard market.
According to the report, increased trips to the ByWard market in the summer led to complaints from residents and business owners about “reckless and dangerous e-scooter driving”. Staff recommend allowing e-scooters to pass through the market on York Street and using geofencing technology to keep the rest of the market pedestrianized.
The data collected by the city shows that e-scooter trips ranged from less than a kilometer to more than 10 kilometers in 2020, with an average trip duration of 1.9 kilometers. ByWard Market, Elgin Street, and Bank Street were popular destinations for e-scooter trips.
Ottawa police issued 14 e-scooter driver tickets worth $ 180 each for illegal driving on the sidewalk last summer and fall.
Ottawa’s Electric Scooter Act states that no one is allowed to operate an electric scooter on a sidewalk or street at a top speed of more than 50 kilometers per hour.