Legalized electric kickscooters are coming to local streets in several municipalities, including four in the Lower Mainland.
Although they are growing in popularity, electric scooters are not currently legal under B.C.’s Motor Vehicle Act. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced Tuesday that it has given the green light for a three-year pilot project allowing them to assess the scooters’ safety while allowed on city streets in Kelowna, Vancouver, the city and district of North Vancouver, Vernon and West Vancouver.
"People throughout B.C. are eager for new, emerging ways to move around their communities," said Bowinn Ma, minister of state for infrastructure and MLA for North Vancouver-Lonsdale. "I have heard from many people in North Vancouver and around the province who are looking forward to embracing micro-mobility devices like electric kickscooters."
Exactly when and where people may legally e-scoot on public property will have to be determined by local councils but the three North Shore municipalities are expected to develop those regulations together so they are harmonized across the North Shore. The province has specified though that the rules will be similar to those for e-bikes – riders must be at least 16 and wear a helmet. A driver’s licence and insurance will not be required.
City of North Vancouver Linda Buchanan welcomed the news in the release.
"We all want to move safely and efficiently from place to place. It's time to modernize how we move to and through communities, otherwise we will see significant impacts on our health, economy and environment. The City of North Vancouver is proud to be a part of this pilot project, as we are committed to delivering innovative and sustainable transportation options for people," she said.
The idea was among those included in the 2017 Integrated North Shore Transportation Planning Project.