Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal have been operating bikeshare systems throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. These bikeshare systems have been very popular, provided a safe transportation option, and have not been connected to COVID-19 transmission cases. Calgary’s shared electric scooters operate in a similar fashion to bikeshare and have similar risks.
Shared electric scooter fleet numbers will be reduced for the first month of operation. Out of an abundance of caution, the City is limiting each company to operate up to 150 scooters (an 85% fleet reduction from last year) for a period of one month from May 22 to June 22, 2020, with the possibility of increased fleet size depending on whether scooter riders adhere to new public safety guidelines during COVID-19.
Shared e-scooters will not be cleaned after every use: when riding a shared scooter, each rider needs to follow the AHS safety guidelines including:
- Washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after using a shared e-scooter. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available.
- Wipe down the shared scooter with a pre-moistened disinfectant wipe before and after use. Riders will need to bring their own wipes.
- Avoiding touching of the face during use of a shared scooter
- Observe all physical distancing guidelines when riding – maintain a two-meter distance between riders and avoid contact with others. Double-ridership on scooters is not allowed.
- Be safe and slow down when passing others
The scooter operators (Lime and Bird) are planning to increase the frequency that scooters are cleaned, and will provide an in-app message outlining best safety practices for riding during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the coming weeks, we will also be testing new ways to mitigate public safety concerns while expanding access to safe, reliable and equitable mobility options for all Calgarians. These include:
- Share & Go Parking Zones which are painted areas intended to be used as a go-to place to find an e-scooter or to end your ride. Located along pathways and bike lanes, these zones will be painted on the sidewalk or in select repurposed Car2Go microstalls. These zones can accommodate multiple scooters and will be painted in areas where there is high e-scooter use to encourage more considerate parking behavior. The zones will be installed in June and are paid for by the e-Scooter companies.
- Slow Speed Zones for e-scooter riders in areas where there is a higher concentration of sidewalk users. The speed of the shared e-scooter will be automatically reduced to a maximum of 15 km/h, (down from a max. of 20 km/h). These low speed zones are located on 4th Street SW in Mission, 9th Avenue SE in Inglewood, and along 10th Street and Kensington Road in Kensington. Riders are asked to park outside these busy pedestrian areas and walk the rest of the way to their destination.
- New Fines to address safety concerns and deter inconsiderate shared e-scooter rider behavior. All fines related to e-scooters can be found in The City of Calgary Traffic Bylaw 26M96.
For more information on these new changes coming soon visit calgary.ca/scootershare
Last year, over 50% of shared electric scooter trips ended in a Business Improvement Area, showing that people are using the devices to largely access local business, which supports the local economy. As part of Alberta’s relaunch strategy, restaurants and retail stores are anticipated to open up next week and shared e-scooters can help with the recovery effort by providing access to safe and reliable mobility options that allow Calgarians to safely observe physical distancing guidelines while at the same time move around the city as they prepare to reopen next week. Scooter operators have also stated that they are prepared to provide additional scooters to enable free rides for health care and emergency workers.