Ready set, scoot: Coquitlam officially sets e-scooters rolling

photo supplied Marco Verch

For at least the next 15 months, e-scooters have a green light in Coquitlam.

Coquitlam council recently gave final approval to a pilot project that will let e-scooters to zip up and down city streets at least until April 2024.

The pilot project – which is at various stages of implementation in 12 B.C. communities including Kelowna, Vancouver, Nanaimo and across the North Shore – is intended to allow the province to evaluate the “safety and operation” of e-scooters as a sustainable transportation option. After April 5, 2024, the province could either make permanent changes or extend the pilot.

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E-scooters are meant to boost transit use by serving as a first- and last-kilometre transportation option, according to a city staff report.

Scooter rules

The vehicles are allowed 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. 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. Scooters must be equipped with a bell that can be used as a warning.

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.

Any scooter rider rolling down a multi-use pathway must yield to pedestrians.

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.

The pilot doesn’t include similar vehicles such as electric skateboards, one-wheels or hoverboards.

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