B.C. pilot study to allow electric kick scooters to operate legally in six cities

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VANCOUVER — A newly approved pilot project will allow electric kick scooters to legally cruise the streets and bike paths of six British Columbia municipalities.

The Ministry of Transportation says in a statement the pilot project gives the province and the selected local governments a chance to assess the safety of electronic personal transportation.

The B.C. Motor Vehicle Act doesn't allow transportation such as electric scooters on roads or sidewalks, but a 2019 amendment permits communities to work with the province on pilot projects.

The six participating municipalities where e-scooters will soon be legal are Kelowna, Vernon, Vancouver, West Vancouver and North Vancouver city and district.

Once those governments pass bylaws saying where the devices can be used, e-scooters will be treated like e-bikes, where a driver's licence or insurance won't be needed but riders must be at least 16, wear a helmet and follow the rules of the road.

Dates for the passage of local bylaws haven't been set, but Mayor Kennedy Stewart says Vancouver aims to begin a trial of privately owned devices like e-scooters later this year.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 23, 2021.

The Canadian Press