VERNON – The City of Vernon is one of six BC communities selected to participate in a three-year pilot program to examine the use of electric kick scooters for personal transportation in our community. Electric kick scooters are an emerging and popular form of active transportation that were not previously permitted to operate on public roads or sidewalks in British Columbia. They are small wheeled devices similar to kick scooters but equipped with a small electric motor.
Similar pilots in other Canadian cities have shown the potential popularity of the devices. Often a fraction of the cost of an electric bicycle, electric kick scooters can provide an affordable and sustainable way to get around a community.
“We are in the final stages of developing a Vernon-specific climate action plan which confirms that most of our community’s greenhouse gas emissions come from driving gas- and diesel-powered vehicles,” said Mayor Victor Cumming. “Therefore, supporting active transportation modes such as electric kick scooters is critical to realizing our vision of being a leader in climate action.”
In addition to increased active transportation opportunities, participating in the pilot could also open the door for electric kick scooter sharing companies to operate in Vernon. Council has directed Administration to initiate a competitive bidding process to secure a shared electric kick scooter service provider to operate a pilot.
“Electric kick scooters have rapidly surpassed bicycles as the most popular form of shared vehicle,” said Angela Broadbent, Active Transportation Coordinator. “A sharing service would make it easier for residents and visitors to explore our community and experience everything Vernon has to offer.”
The pilot requires minor bylaw amendments to be adopted in Vernon. Therefore, staff are preparing a report and further information to be considered by Council at a future meeting.