City adding electric scooters, bikes to complement Bixi network

Move over, Bixi, Communauto and Car2Go — the city of Montreal is getting ready to welcome new "shared rideables" programs featuring dockless electric scooters and electric bikes.

The city said the Quebec government has told them they're amending the law to allow these new services and the government will also be conducting a pilot project.

The city said it's heard from interested companies such as Lime and Jump so it's preparing a permits and parking system for them to avoid "chaos."

Eric Alan Caldwell, executive committee member responsible for transport, said they want regulations in place to prevent operators and users from leaving bikes and scooters all over the place.

Caldwell said they'll have two hours to move their bikes and scooters if they are left on the sidewalk or block traffic; otherwise the companies and the users could face fines. In worse case scenarios, the company could lose their permit.

Users can leave the scooters and bikes locked up to bike racks, in zones five metres from the curb or other designated zones. 

So far the zones are located in a section of downtown bound by Guy, Sherbrooke, Berri and René-Lévesque but could be expanded to other boroughs.

Caldwell said he's not concerned about competition for Bixi, calling it the "backbone" of ride-sharing programs.

"They are complementary — they are not replacing the bike-sharing service," Caldwell told reporters.

Caldwell said it's up to the province to regulate the use of helmets as well as speed which is now set at just over 30 km/h but the city is lobbying to reduce it.

Caldwell said you can expect to see dockless electric bicycles on the streets as early as May and around June or July for scooters.