Ottawa electric scooter required to emit a continuous sound

E-scooter [arked at Shoppers Drug Mart
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(from Councillor Brockington’s newsletter)

Bird Canada and Neuron Mobility are the preferred proponents to operate 2022’s Electric Scooter Pilot Program.

The 2022 season is approved to operate until November 15, 2022 (weather permitting) and will have a total combined fleet size of 900 e-scooters (reduced from 1200 in 2021). E-scooters will be permitted to operate in the same central deployment area within the city’s urban core as last year. Each company will be ‘phasing in’ their total fleets and/or deployment area over the first few weeks of the 2022 season.

Same central deployment area

The e-scooters used in the 2022 shared e-scooter program are required to emit a continuous sound while in operation. The requirement in Ottawa for sound emissions appears to be a first in North America, in advance of any worldwide standard. The 2022 program will focus on reducing sidewalk riding and improper parking. Mitigation efforts include:

  • the use of the latest GPS technologies and Artificial Intelligence (AI), allowing for more accurate location identification of individual e-scooters, refined throughout the initial weeks;
  • detection technologies to help deter sidewalk riding by notifying riders that sidewalk riding is not allowed and disengaging the motor so they can safely return to a nearby bike lane or street;
  • education programs;
  • more service provider staff proactively patrolling, monitoring, communicating with riders, and issuing fines and/or bans;
  • a streamlined reporting process via an e-form helping to monitor field conditions and reduce the burden on residents;
  • providers are required to proactively monitor and action misparking within 15 minutes (decrease from previous year’s one-hour requirement);
  • dedicated By-law officers monitoring parking and relocating/impounding e-scooters as required;
  • provider apps will only allow riders to end their rides in designated parking areas, both virtual and physical; and
  • fines will be issued and users can be removed from the app if they do not follow rules.

It is not entirely clear to me (‘me’ as in ‘Hans on the Bike’) if these rules are only implemented for the Bird and Neuron e-scooter users. Obviously, some are, such as returning e-scooters to designated areas, but other actions, such as ‘dedicated By-Law officers monitoring parking (…)’ likely apply to all e-scooters users. I can not imagine that a By-law officer would ignore an awkwardly parked personal e-scooter for example.

More about e-scooters in Ottawa

I wrote earlier about e-scooters in Ottawa here. You’ll see that they are mostly used during the evening for 2-3 km rides for about 1-10 minutes. If you’d take a look at the highest number in each graph in that post, the most common trip is at 8 pm, is under 5 minutes and is less than a kilometre long.

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