Back at the end of November, the Ontario government announced an e-scooter pilot program to help grow Ontario’s economy. Only a few months later we are seeing that come to life. Bird Canada has partnered with our nation’s capital to pilot the program.
November 27th saw the announcement. The idea was to offer consumers and commuters different choices for navigating the streets of our cities. The 5-year plan was set to start January 1, 2020, and was the brainchild of Caroline Mulroney, Ministry of Transportation. The congestion in our biggest cities isn’t getting smaller. Adding an e-scooter gives commuters the choice as well as fosters a growing market.
“Ontario’s e-scooter pilot will help businesses expand, enrich local economies and offer people more options to get around safely,” said Mulroney. “Our government is strongly committed to promoting the highest standards of safety for all Ontarians who travel on our roads.”
The pilot program in Ottawa will see 260 Bird e-scooters placed around the city. “As the first city in Ontario to launch a shared e-scooter pilot, Ottawa has demonstrated just how quickly City Council can be mobilized and implement the necessary by-laws to get up and running with a pilot,” said Stewart Lyons, the CEO of Bird Canada, in a recent statement “Our hope is that other cities in the Province are inspired by Ottawa’s action and also plan to take advantage of the benefits that shared e-scooters deliver.”
The Bird Canada app is available for download here on the Apple App Store and here on the Google PlayStore. The app allows you to locate the shared e-scooter closest to you. The e-scooters are capable of booting along at 20km/h and are not supposed to be ridden on sidewalks. To ride one of these beauties you will need to be at least 16 years and old and required to wear a helmet if you are under 18. Lights, brakes, and a bell will all come standard on these scooters.
Bird will be launching a ’s.h.a.r.e. Safe Streets’ program to help would-be riders adjust to the pilot. It will answer questions like where to park your scooter and how to use the devices in a safe manner. I think this is a very cool addition to major cities to help people get around from point A to point B. I am slightly concerned when it comes to where these will be parked and kept out of the way of the public, however, these are details I am sure will be sorted out.