Kelowna closer to electric scooters on the roads


B.C`s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is now accepting community’s proposals to test new and emerging transportation technologies as part of a pilot program.

The announcement was made Friday morning.

 Kelowna's active transportation co-ordinator, Matt Worona, said summer service will probably look a lot different this year if our proposal is accepted.

“I expect we will see many more vehicles deployed every day as there's more people using them to access those different destinations. So, it’s probably just an expansion of what you can do on them, expansion of how many vehicles there are available to the public and expansion in what this can do from a transportation perspective to allow people to move more freely,” said Worona.

He said changes could make it legal for users to ride electric scooters and skateboards on City streets.

“That's essentially the hope. We want these vehicles to be able to deliver more kinds of trips and that means accessing a whole number of different destinations. Usually at some point, if you were to ride a bike somewhere or drive somewhere, you wouldn’t be able to do it only on a limited pathway.”

Kelowna has already submitted an expression of interest and will be submitting a more wholesome proposal outlining their intentions.

“We've given a permit for a company called Loop, they deliver electric mopeds. So it's a little bit different of a vehicle type, you need a Class 5 licence to drive it, a little closer to a motorcycle and they wouldn't be allowed on bike paths. Additionally, one of those operators will be bringing electric bikes. So, we will be seeing electric bikes, electric scooters, electric mopeds and maybe more than that,” said Worona.

Currently Kelowna allows for electric scooters only on pathways that are included in the Motor Vehicle Act.

The ministry’s application process closes on March 6.