Electric Scooters Make their Debut in Kelowna
Residents and tourists will have a new way of exploring Kelowna this summer.
Canada West Segway announced the launched of their program OGO Scooters in the City on Friday.
OGO deployed 60 electric scooters that travel 45km on a full charge.
“The first step will be to go onto the app store and download the OGO Scooters app. You just scan the QR code, register as a new user, and it will be $1.00 to start, then it will charge you 30 cents a minute,” said Co-Owner Chris Szydlowski, alongside his partner Kyle Leduc.
He explained that users can drop the e-scooter anywhere but are being encouraged to bring them back to the community partner locations.
Partner locations are still being finalized but two were identified as the Tourism Kelowna Visitor Centre and the Kelowna Yacht Club.
City Transportation Manager, Matt Worona clarified that vehicles will be restricted to the Rail Trail, Angel way, the Waterfront Walkway, the Cawston Active Transportation Corridor and Abbott Street Corridor.
“What we wanted is a linear corridor so if you’re on one part of the network you don’t have to go on street to get to another part of the network. It’s a lot easier to visualize if it’s one specific area that all connects to itself and connects big destinations as well,” said Worona.
Currently electric scooters are not allowed on roadways but the City of Kelowna is advocating to the government for change.
According to OGO, their program was designed keeping in mind mistakes that have been made by previous companies.
Szydlowski highlighted that the e-scooters are linked to the app, which outlines a boundary for riders.
The geo-fence is designed to restrict scooters from entering permitted areas. It alerts users when they are reaching a restricted zone and comes to a complete stop, rendering it inoperable outside those boundaries.
“You’ll be able to go all the way up to UBC campus and then down [the north] side of HWY 97. So there will be a geo-fence all the way to the bridge, along the waterfront and then on the other side of the bridge we’ll go just past the El Dorado. We’re not going to be in the farming community or the upper mountain area but we’ll take it to Rutland,” said Szydlowski
OGO co-owners stated that the current boundaries are preliminary and will be open to change based on public demand.