Vancouver may soon turn in vehicles for e-scooters, if city councillors pass a new motion, this week.
Coun. Sarah Kirby-Yung is behind the e-scooter proposal, saying they will give people an easy and accessible option for commuting.
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“I think other cities have gone before us and we have the benefit of learning from some of the initial challenges that they’ve had in getting started and I think Vancouver can have a very safe and responsible pilot as a result,” said Kirby-Yung to CBC.
Electric scooters were not allowed in B.C. under current legislation. But in November, the province changed the motor vehicle act, to allow municipalities to pilot devices like e-scooters and e-bikes.
As the province begins its pandemic recovery, Kirby-Young said now is the perfect time to pilot such projects. That’s especially the case, as Vancouver creates a network of “slow streets,” where vehicle speeds will stick to 30 km/hour.
Some have raised concerns over the scooters however. Vancouver municipal staff noted other cities’ injury rates are 10 times higher on e-scooters than on bicycles.
But Kirby-Young cited a 2020 report from Portland, Oregon, saying that while scooter-related injuries increased, most were not serious enough to require emergency care. The report also said 34% of scooter riders replaced car trips with scooter trips.
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