September 14, 2018

How will Shareable Scooters work in Vancouver?

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Price Tags Vancouver has been discussing how and when Vancouver will be addressing scooters. And we mean all things about scooters~where they are left, where they will be allowed to  operate, and what the restrictions will be on companies bringing them to Vancouver. .

In a city that does not have a surplus of taxis and with taxis unwilling to do short trips, and with no ride share options on the immediate horizon, other alternatives are needed. There is definitely a latent demand  for short trips, and scooters are one way to go. The Seattle Department of Transportation”s definition of “shareable mobility devices”  include “tricycles, handcycles, tandem cycles, electric scooters, and others” with a view to providing transportation options to disabled residents. Seattle is also looking at hefty licencing fees of  up to $250,000 if four vendors apply. The Reuters clip below shows that vendors make their money back in two to three weeks with scooter shares.

But where do scooters operate in cities  and where should they be left? Price Tags Vancouver documented what happened in San Francisco where shareable scooters could be left anywhere, and soon cluttered up sidewalks. Many cities want scooters to be in bike lanes and not competing with pedestrians on sidewalks. Seattle has placed some of the bicycle/scooter parking on public sidewalks, but officials are now looking at placing the scooter parking on the street in clearances or in parking spaces.

While the taxi industry has been vocal about the introduction of ride-sharing as cutting into their business, a scooter trip does not have similar competition. There will be a need for clear-cut regulations on where scooters are allowed to operate and where they are left on the street and public realm in Vancouver.

As Gordon Price asked last week ” So Vancouver, what’s your plan?


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  1. I tried them out in Portland recently. Very convenient. Very easy to use. You just load an app on your phone to unlock and lock. It’s even easier than Mobi bikes.

    I’ve seen people in on-line videos complaining about 4-5 scooters parked in a group. Meanwhile, behind those people is a four lane road full of cars parked as far as you can see. The irony is completely lost on them.

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