E-scooters Get a Boost 

HSCPC volunteer Alex Huh rides an e-scooter

You may have noticed electric kick scooters rolling along city streets over the last few years. In July 2021 the City of Vancouver began to test the use of e-scooters on roads and bike lanes. The pilot project is being extended for another four years.

And soon e-scooters will be available in Vancouver on a shared basis, much like the Mobi bike-sharing system that has been a huge hit since its launch in 2016. Shared e-scooter systems are already in many Alberta communities and in cities across the U.S.

“They offer residents a sustainable and accessible option to move around and explore our city,” said Mayor Ken Sim in supporting the proposal. A shared e-scooter system can provide mobility benefits to residents and visitors including people with limited mobility, low income, or without a driver’s licence.

 Both the pilot project and the new shared system allow only e-scooters that meet provincial standards. They do not include many other electro-mobility devices such as hoverboards, Segway PTs, one-wheels, or monowheels. E-scooter bylaws are enforced by the Vancouver Police Department.

Provincial regulations, along with those from participating municipalities, govern e-scooter operation. Here are some rules:

You can only use an e-scooter in the 13 pilot project communities in BC, which include Vancouver, Richmond, Coquitlam and the North Shore.

No license or insurance is required. User must be at least 16 years old.

To be street legal, an e-scooter must have maximum speed capability of 24 km/h and weigh no more than 45 kg.

Safety equipment requirements include: helmet; bell or horn, to be sounded when passing pedestrians and other road users; front and rear lights used between sunset and sunrise.

Rules for safe operation include:

  • If speed limit is 50km/h or less, stay on the right side of the road or use a designated cycling lane
  • If speed limit is greater than 50km/h, use a designated cycling lane if available
  • E-scooters are prohibited on sidewalks or in crosswalks
  • Travel no faster than pedestrians except to pass
  • No passengers or towing
  • Ride single file
  • Use turn signals (hand signals or lighted)

See the Province’s Electric Kick Scooter Pilot Project Regulation (part of the Motor Vehicle Act), and municipal bylaws for more information.