There’s electricity on the streets of Coquitlam – or at least, there soon will be.
Seven months after first consideration, Coquitlam gave the green light to a pilot project that will soon allow e-scooters to zip down Coquitlam streets at least until April 2024.
Riders must be 16 or older and the scooter isn’t allowed to hit speeds faster than 24 kilometres per hour. Riders do not need a driver’s licence.
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The change garnered enthusiastic support from Coun. Teri Towner, who suggested she would likely support an e-scooter share in the city.
“I’m really looking forward to this, it’s definitely an evolving form of sustainable transportation,” Towner said.
The pilot project is part of a provincial initiative slated to wrap up in April 2024. After that, the pilot could be scrapped, extended, or the province could permanently change road rules around e-scooters.
E-scooters would be allowed to operate on any city street with a speed limit of 50 km/h or slower, provided they stay either in a bike lane or as near as possible to the right side of the street as possible. E-scooters are not permitted on sidewalks.
On streets with speed limits above 50 km/h, e-scooters would be confined to bike lanes or other multi-use paths.
Based on Interior Health data, there is an injury in 0.025 percent of trips.
E-scooter accidents are likely attributed to “the first couple of trips by new riders,” according to Vancouver Coastal Health’s research.
ICBC has a record of four traffic collisions involving an e-scooter, according to a Coquitlam city staff report.
Fines of as much as $1,000 can be levelled against riders who veer on a sidewalk, ride without a bell, or ride while wearing headphones.
E-scooters are meant to boost transit use by serving as a first- and last-kilometre transportation option, according to a city staff report.
Based on survey results in Kelowna, 33 percent of e-scooter trips replace car trips.
What counts as an e-scooter?
By definition, a scooter can weigh as much as 45 kilograms with a maximum speed of 24 kilometres per hour. Scooters must be equipped with light as well as a bell and a horn.
The pilot doesn’t apply to hover-boards, regular scooters, limited speed motorcycles, mopeds, electric skateboards, or one-wheels.
The bylaw amendment requires one more formal vote from council.