The idea of having 378 electric scooters available to the public sparked some interest at the city’s transportation committee, prompting officials to look at the idea further.
On Monday, Benjamin Quattrini, owner of The Boutique, an e-commerce business, made a presentation to the city’s transportation committee, asking them to consider allowing e-scooters on roadways, sidewalks and pathways in Saskatoon.
In his pitch to the committee, Quattrini said based on Saskatoon’s population, a pilot program, in his view, would see 378 e-scooters deployed to various parts of the city. The pilot would see a team of people working around the clock, collecting e-scooters left in unexpected areas, cleaning the machines and charging them up.
“We plan to have an operations team on the ground 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, relocating and charging units. If a unit needs to be relocated it will happen in minutes, not hours. We’re committed to doing this in the best possible way,” Quattrini said.
The e-scooters, already deployed in cities including Kelowna, Calgary and Edmonton, offer a different mode of transportation. Quattrini said in many of those cities e-scooters are allowed on roadways, sidewalks and multi-use pathways. He hopes the same will be allowed in Saskatoon.
Quattrini said the e-scooters can reach speeds of up to 30 kilometres per hour and can travel 60 to 80 kilometres before needing to be charged.
Pleased with the presentation, the committee asked the administration to bring back a report to the committee outlining what steps the city needs to take to bring a pilot program of e-scooters to Saskatoon. The city’s administration expects to have a report ready by April.