Victoria council moves to allow e-scooters in city

CHEK

Three years after the project was announced, Victoria is decided to hop on the electric scooter trend. As of April, zipping around Victoria on an e-scooter will now be allowed, with the same rules as cyclists.

The small scooters are sold in big box stores across the province, and already being ridden but government hasn’t been able to keep up with regulating all the new types of electric transportation popping up.

“This really is just providing people an option to say that you can go get these devices and use them legally, and the nice thing about this regulation is how to use them safely,” said Ross Kenny, assistant director for the City of Victoria’s public engineering and public works department.

As of this week, Victoria council is looking to make e-scooters legal, voting unanimously in the committee of the whole to join a provincial pilot project that for the next four years will test e-scooters on public roadways.

As of April 5, e-scooters will be technically legal to ride on Victoria roads with a 50 km an hour speed limit, provided the rider is wearing a helmet and lights.

Through the project, the province is trying to figure out if and how e-scooters should be authorized for permanent use in B.C. under the Motor Vehicle Act.

Nanaimo was among the first 13 municipalities approved for the pilot project starting in 2021, then Saanich indicated in 2022 it would be interested in being part of the next cohort. Saanich will discuss taking this same step as Victoria at its upcoming March 11 council meeting.

For the second phase of the pilot starting April 5, e-scooters will be allowed in any community that authorizes them.

“The benefits of this pilot project is just providing people another way opportunity of how to travel around. It’s much more sustainable compared to a private motor vehicle. E-scooters are great for first and last mile type of travel where someone might ride a e-scooter to a bus stop, catch the bus, and get to their final destination,” said Kenny.

The move offers an additional, more affordable electric transportation option to Victorians that may help scoot the city towards hitting its climate objectives.

“The city has a goal by 2030 that 55 per cent of all trips are made by walking, rolling or transit, and e-mobility units are a key component of meeting that goal,” said Kenny.

CHEK NewsCHEK News

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!