Calgary Launches 16-Month Pilot Program for Electric Scooters

Calgary will soon see a fleet of electric scooters hit its streets as early as next week.

According to a new report from The Star, Calgary’s city council has approved a 16-month-long pilot project that could bring electric scooters to the city. The move comes after an exemption to the Alberta Traffic Safety Act was granted last week.

“We are excited to see how Calgarians will adopt this new mode of transportation,” said Nathan Carswell, who manages the city’s shared mobility program.

“We wanted to create a network for the scooters that customers could use to get to and from their destinations,” continued Carswell. “It’s a new mode of transportation that is disrupting the traditional modes of transportation.”

The city says the e-scooter pilot program is being provided at no extra cost to taxpayers, reads the report.

Since the launch of the city’s dockless bike-sharing program last year, there have been over 100,000 trips in the city, says Carswell. The city expects similar interest in the electric scooter program.

“Scooters can ride on the sidewalk, in bike lanes and on pathways but not on the road, and have a speed limit of 20 km/h,” reads the report. “Riders must be 18 years old or older, and the same substance restrictions that apply to motor vehicle drivers will apply to scooter users. Scooter operations will pause from November to mid-March.”

According to the report, companies can apply for permits to operate within the city, so long as they meet a set of requirements.

Electric scooter company Lime would see its second program in Canada after Waterloo, Ontario, while competitor Bird would see its first. Bird chief operating officer Ryan Lausmann says local regulations made the city an easy choice for the company.

“We think it’s going to be very popular very, very quickly,” he said. “We are super excited. I think we’re going to see a thousand be used.”