No Ban on Shared E-Scooters

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Rules around e-scooter use are staying the same in Kelowna… for now.

City council made the decision Monday afternoon not to ban shared e-scooters from the Waterfront Walkway and Bernard Avenue.

Councillor Ryan Donn said multiple vehicle and route options for electric transportation are the key to encouraging people to use it.

“If you want to know my concerns for safety, its goes to how do we keep our pedestrians safe close to roadways versus I haven't heard any, well much concerns and the concerns for me aren't significant enough to look at doing this level of restrictions,” said Donn.

Mayor Colin Basran said shared e-scooters are not coming back to the city until the province approves a pilot to allow them on our streets.

“As result of the timing with the Province, share e-scooters may not even be allowed to operate in our community because we don’t know when the province is going to give the green light to allow them up on roads. So, the whole summer could pass and the program may not even be approved yet, therefore Bernard Avenue would not be impacted.”

Basran clarified that privately owned scooters will not be allowed down the Bernard Avenue temporary closure because e-scooters are currently still prohibited on roads.

“When the provincial government allows scooters on roads there's the possibility they could be allowed on Bernard Avenue depending on how long the closure is. Well, they'll be allowed on Bernard regardless of whether it's closed to vehicles or not but they will continue to be allowed on the Waterfront Walkway,” said Basran.

Basran, alongside Councillors Gail Given, Loyal Wooldridge and Ryan Donn voted against the ban, while Councillors Maxine DeHart, Charlie Hodge, Brad Sieben and Mohini Singh voted in favour.

Councillor Luke Stack, who has voiced support for the ban, was absent from the meeting leading to the tie vote.

For that reason, Basran believes the conversation will likely come up again in the near future.

A subsequent motion was also passed to explore the option of granting market exclusively to one bike share operator with multiple modes of micro-mobility in 2021.