E-Scooter Pilot to Launch in City

Tue, 01/18/2022
City of North Vancouver residents will soon be permitted to legally use electric kick-scooters – or e-scooters – as part of a pilot project intended to eventually encompass the North Shore.
Council gave first three readings to amendments to the City’s Street and Traffic Bylaw to enable these devices to use designated City streets and pathways, with final approval scheduled for January 31 pending approval from the Province. Once the bylaw changes are approved, people age 16 and up will be able to use e-scooters to get around the City based on specific routes.
“Everyone can agree that moving efficiently around the community is a top priority,” said Mayor Linda Buchanan. “For too long cities have been designed for the movement of cars over people. That’s why I am so pleased that we are delivering this e-mobility pilot. When people are presented with transportation alternatives they use them. E-scooters are a competitive alternative that will enhance mobility for everyone in the City.”
While growing in popularity, e-scooter use has technically been illegal because they are not permitted under B.C.’s Motor Vehicle Act (MVA). As a step toward updating the MVA, the three North Shore communities are among eight B.C. municipalities that have received provincial permission to conduct e-scooter pilots if they pass enabling bylaws.
Regulations Promote Safety
During the pilot, e-scooter riders will be required to follow specific regulations developed at the provincial and local levels to reduce potential injury and other impacts.
For example, e-scooters will only be permitted in the City of North Vancouver on local roads (with no centreline), bike and mobility lanes, and multi-use paths. They will not be permitted on the City’s sidewalks, arterial roads without a mobility lane, or unpaved trails.
The regulations also require e-scooters to have bells and lights, and riders to wear a helmet and be at least 16 years old. Riders must exercise due care, including slowing down near pedestrians and using a bell or horn when passing. They must also ride single-file and never carry or tow another person. A licence is not required.
A Regional Approach
Given that e-scooter riders cross municipal boundaries, the City has been working with the Districts of North Vancouver and West Vancouver to take a consistent approach to the North Shore pilot projects. Vancouver Coast Health officials and the North Shore RCMP were also consulted in developing the regulations.
The City will be the first on the North Shore to adopt an enabling bylaw and launch a pilot which will permit the use of personal or rented e-scooters, but not a sharing service like the e-bike sharing pilot.
Pilot Will Provide Data
The City will be monitoring the impact of e-scooters on the transportation network, the community and on incidents and injuries throughout the pilot, which will run until April 2024.
The rules and regulations will be broadly communicated to the public, and staff will also coordinate with agency partners, businesses and other municipalities to pursue opportunities for rider education. The RCMP will enforce the regulations and impose fines as needed.
City staff also plan to regularly collect information in the field – including counts and speeds – as well as resident feedback, and report periodically to Council.
The e-scooter pilot dovetails with the City’s efforts to promote more non-automobile travel and improve transportation connectivity across the North Shore, while also supporting Council’s Strategic Plan priorities such as exploring innovative solutions to transportation challenges and increasing the City’s viability as a tourism destination.
For more information about the pilot project, visit www.cnv.org/e-scooters.