E-Scooters are back on the streets of Calgary this month, following a 16-month trial in 2019 and 2020.
It’s perfect timing as we move into summer and want to get around and have fun outdoors. At a time when many usual activities are still unavailable to us, e-scooters are an easily available mobility option to get to work, to play and to discover what is easily accessible in the U/D vicinity.
We’re here to get you up to speed with e-scooting and Bird, the operator of e-scooters in and around University District, and to provide suggestions for places to tour and stop at on your e-scooter journey.
Did you know? Calgary was the first Canadian city to record one million e-scooter rides?
Here’s why Calgarians say they love e-scooters so much:
Back with a sleek new look, Bird Canada is one of only two operators to be granted a permit to operate their shared e-scooters in Calgary and the only successful brand from the pilot trial to return in an official capacity. A wholly Canadian owned and operated company, Bird Canada has chosen Calgary as their Canadian operational headquarters and is also planning to bring e-bikes to the streets soon.
It is returning with a fleet of all new silver Bird e-Scooters that have a built-in bell and new tires that address safety, traction and stability.
“Our return to Calgary goes far beyond the typical roll-out of e-scooters to include a meaningful commitment to the City,” says Alexandra Petre, General Manager of Bird Canada. “This year, we’ve formed a partnership with University District as well as University of Calgary, demonstrating our commitment to offer micro mobility solutions in sustainable, innovative ways. “We have a new fleet of Bird 2s that are very sleek, very exciting, very fun to ride and also incredibly safe.”
E-scooters are here to stay, even after the summer months. The city’s transportation department will ask scooter companies to pick up their scooters if there is a snowfall but will allow them to operate year-round on warm weather days.
Scooters will be allowed to operate on pathways, bike lanes, temporary adaptive lanes and quiet sidewalks.
A new rule this year allows scooters on quieter streets with lower traffic volumes and speeds, like those in residential neighbourhoods. Rules still in effect from the pilot project include only allowing people 18 and older to ride and only one person on a scooter at a time.
According to the city, violating the rules can net you a fine from peace officers or Calgary police, and the companies can also issue fines through their app as they will be monitoring rider behaviour using data collected by the scooters. There’s a highly visible and unique identification number on each device and decals with raised lettering to make it easier to report improperly parked devices.
“Anybody that mis-parks a scooter is subject to a $10 fine,” says Petre. “Anyone that has three instances of such a fine can actually be kicked off the app.” Visit the City of Calgary Shared e-scooter mobility program page for full details of program rules, fines and Covid- 19 safety when riding.
Bird e-scooters make access to, from and within our community even easier. Although you can go anywhere within the designated zone while going about your everyday life, e-scooting is also a fun way to get out and explore. Here are some ideas:
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