Electric kick scooters

Do we see courteous riding and parking?

John Verbaas

I’m sure the scene of people whizzing around the neighbourhood on new shared electric scooters is familiar to most IMAGE readers by now. This e-scooter pilot project led by the City aims to introduce an additional transportation choice to residents with the hope that e-scooter use may lead to more trips being made without the use of a car. This trial is intended to gauge public interest in the program and evaluate how safe and courteous riding and parking of these scooters has been. Since their launch in mid-July, the approximately 500 shared e-scooters have been popular, with 82,000 trips recorded in the first month, or an average of over 2,600 per day. Three companies, Bird Canada, Lime, and Roll now offer dockless e-scooters for rent in and around downtown Ottawa. The scooters are rented by the minute (35 cents a minute according to The Citizen) using an app that users can download to their phones.

In the current trial, e-scooters will cease to operate if taken out of an area bounded approximately from Parkdale in the west to the Rideau River in the east and the Glebe area to the south. They are allowed on City cycling facilities including bike lanes, cycle tracks, and multi-use pathways. Their maximum operating speed in Ottawa has been set to 20 km/h. They are not allowed on sidewalks, National Capital Commission pathways, across the river in Gatineau, in any OC Transpo vehicle or facility, or on streets with speed limits of more than 50 km/h. E-scooters must be parked upright in the sidewalk “furniture zone” closest to the curb—out of the way of pedestrian travel. Residents can report improperly parked scooters directly to the company via a phone number posted on the scooter, and the scooter companies are obligated to move them within an hour. The pilot will run until the end of October, at which time the City will be analyzing data provided by the scooter companies as well as feedback collected from residents. A report will be produced and presented to City council later this year.

So what’s been the experience here in Sandy Hill so far? Love ‘em, hate ‘em, or wait and see? To provide feedback we are encouraged to contact Kathleen Wilker at or 613-580-2424, ext. 42014.

Provincial regulations for e-scooters:

1.      Riders must be 16 or older

2.      Speed limit is 24 km/hr

3.      E-scooters must be equipped with a bell, a brake and lights

4.      Helmets are required for riders under 18

5.      Single rider only

6.      No basket