E-Scooter companies race to deploy in Kelowna

Bird E-Scooter

Another major scooter-sharing company has set its sights on Kelowna.

California-based Bird has announced plans to bring their dockless electric scooters to a number of Canadian cities with Kelowna near the top of the list. 

"For Kelowna to be ahead of a whole bunch of other Canadian cities is really, really nice in that way and it's a testament to what we've built." said Active Transportation Coordinator Matt Worona.

According to the company's website, Bird is currently operating in over 100 cities around the globe. Kelowna is now reviewing a permit application from Bird to join the three other scooter-sharing companies that have received city approval.

Since overhauling the city's bike-share framework, Kelowna has granted permits to three different companies looking to deploy their own fleets of e-scooters. San Francisco's Spin was the first to secure a permit to deploy 400 scooters locally. Kelowna-based OGO and Ontario's Zip Dockless have also been approved to launch their own scooter share programs.

"You're getting some of the biggest market players being interested as well as some of the smaller players and we really want it to be flexible."

While the scooters can reach speeds up to 45 kilometres per hour, they are currently banned from public roads. The BC Government has signalled it intends to update provincial traffic laws to allow for e-scooters but it's unclear when those changes will be implemented.