Montreal forbids shared e-scooters
Montreal has ended a pilot project with 680 shared electric e-scooters. The city cites the lack of respect of users for the regulations as the reason for the ban.
Montreal didn’t have any fatal or serious accidents with the scooters. However, only 20% of them were parked in dedicated areas. There were 110 reports of poorly parked scooters and bicycles, and 333 reports of non-compliance with the road safety code, mainly helmet usage.
Permits for shared electric bicycles, also proposed in the pilot project, will be renewed. But the city will adopt tighter regulations.
Montreal launched the pilot project in the summer of 2019. It includes several operators, like the major American players Bird and Lime. “The operators failed to ensure their responsibility to comply with regulations,” says Eric Alan Caldwell, head of mobility at the city hall. He assured that “by 2020, there will be no more scooters on the streets of Montreal”.
“This unexpected pause in the electric scooter program is incredibly disappointing. It is also a major setback for people in a city committed to reducing traffic congestion and carbon emissions,” said Michael Markevich, CEO of Lime Canada. “With over 200 000 trips and 50 000 users in just three months, it is clear that there was a real demand for greener and more convenient transportation options,” he adds.
“Despite this decision, Bird Canada will continue to work and collaborate with the City of Montreal to bring back electric scooters in 2021, when the city has resolved parking issues,” the second operator said, also expressing “disappointment”.
Worldwide trend toward regulation
In many cities around the world, there has been a silent appearance of these scooters. Pedestrians and other road users soon perceived them as a threat. Governments began to try to regulate them.
In November, Singapore declared a ban on electric scooters on pavements. Opinions are divided on the European continent. The Netherlands don’t allow electric scooters at all and the country is calling for a European regulation.
Besides safety concerns, shared e-scooters are also raising environmental concerns. Their production is energy-intensive, they have a short life span and a low recycling rate. Last year, activist group Extinction Rebellion put 3 600 of them out of service in Paris by scratching or covering their QR code. Some also see a social issue with the employment of freelance workers with low pay.