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January 17, 2023, 5:01 pm

Coquitlam Launches E-Scooter Pilot Project

City of Coquitlam
COQUITLAM – E-scooter users in Coquitlam have expanded and improved options to get around the community with the launch of an e-scooter pilot project.

On January 16, 2023, Coquitlam completed a series of bylaw amendments that allow people age 16 and up to use electric kick scooters – or e-scooters – in designated areas through a provincial pilot project. Running to April 2024, the pilot will include a public education campaign and will also expand to include e-scooter sharing (similar to bike sharing) in summer 2023 (approximately).

This pilot project not only improves options for how people move in and around the community, but also contributes to reducing carbon emissions. The project aligns with several City goals and strategies including the Environmental Sustainability Plan (ESP), approved in Jan. 2021, as well as the Strategic Transportation Plan (STP), currently in development.

In the coming weeks, the City will release tips on e-scooter etiquette, with the goal of using education to improve compliance and safety. 

E-scooter riders must be at least age 16 but do not need a driver’s licence. They must wear a helmet, have a bell and lights on their device and never carry or tow passengers.

E-scooters can generally go wherever bicycles are allowed, including multi-use paths (MUPs), bike or micromobility lanes (i.e. lanes or areas on roadways specifically designated for bikes/e-bikes and scooters/e-scooters). Generally, e-scooter riders on Coquitlam streets should follow the same rules and regulations as cyclists. 

Restrictions include:
 
  • No riding on roads with 50-plus km/hour speeds unless in micromobility lanes or MUPs;
  • No riding on sidewalks or on park trails or pathways unless permitted by signs or pavement markings; 
  • Riding as close to the right as possible on streets with no MUP; and
  • Travelling a maximum of 24 km/hour.

The pilot does not cover other micromobility devices such as electric skateboards, unicycles or hoverboards.

More information about the pilot is available at www.coquitlam.ca/escooter.

Coquitlam joins 11 other B.C. communities in a provincial government pilot project to research, test and evaluate the use of e-scooters as a low-carbon transportation option. 

E-scooters and other electric micromobility devices are becoming more popular as a less expensive and convenient form of active transportation, well suited to urban areas and around transit hubs. According to a 2021 study by Simon Fraser University (SFU), about two per cent of residents in the Tri-Cities and North Fraser region own an e-scooter and six per cent own electric bicycles. The City expects those numbers to increase with e-scooters now being legal to ride across Coquitlam. 

Expanding the use of micromobility devices dovetails with the City’s climate mitigation efforts, which include encouraging transportation forms that are healthier and produce fewer emissions.  

Expanded and improved options for low or zero emission transportation modes also deliver sustainable services, environment and infrastructure, which is one of the key goals in the city's ESP.

With the passing of the bylaw amendments, and launch of e-scooter tips, the City will also be launching a process to seek an e-scooter sharing provider, with the service anticipated to launch summer of 2023 (approximately). E-scooter sharing is an important part of making micromobility options more accessible within the community and helping to reduce short-trip car use. It can also help remove barriers for people combining micromobility with transit. 
Coquitlam staff will actively review public feedback throughout the pilot and make adjustments as needed.

Any changes during the e-scooter pilot will be publicized in the community and posted at www.coquitlam.ca/escooter.

The City adopted the current STP in 2012. Since then the City has made progress in increasing sustainable transportation in Coquitlam such as walking, cycling and public transit. There have also been significant changes in transportation over the last ten years, including the addition of SkyTrain, consideration of different kinds of street users, and emerging technologies to address climate change mitigation and adaptation. 

A new STP will provide a refreshed long-term vision for Coquitlam’s transportation network with a focus on prioritizing key actions and policy changes for the next 10 years. It will also align with other City plans such as the recently-adopted ESP and the Economic Development Strategy in development, while also applying the City’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion. Learn more at www.coquitlam.ca/transportationplan

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