No more shared e-scooters in Montreal because they weren't being parked legally: city officials
MONTREAL -- Montrealers won't be seeing shared electric scooters zipping by this summer after city officials said Wednesday they will not be extending the pilot project.
Eric Alan Caldwell, Montreal executive committee member responsible for transportation, made the announcement at the city's weekly executive committee meeting.
He notes 80 per cent of e-scooters and bikes were parked illegally last summer, including leaning against buildings and next to unmarked bike racks. That led to 110 tickets being issued to people for not parking properly.
In addition, the city notes 27 per cent of trips made on the Island of Montreal started or ended at a metro or train station and there was often conflict between the riders and pedestrians in high-density areas of the city.
"We are going to suspend the requests for permits for scooters this year and think about solutions to better manage the service and limit nuisances," Caldwell said. "The permits for electric bikes will be renewed, but governed by tighter regulations."
He blames the scooter operator for not living up to its responsibility when it comes to making sure the rules were being followed.
However, Lime insists the reason there was such a high number of illegal parking was because there wasn't a sufficient amount of spots provided by the city. It notes that the spaces were inconveniently placed and did not include proper signage.
"This unexpected, temporary pause in the Montreal scooter program is incredibly disappointing and a major step backwards for the people of a city committed to reducing congestion and carbon emissions," said Michael Markevich, Lime general manager for Canada. "With more than 200,000 trips and 50,000 riders in just three months, it's clear there was a real demand for greener, more convenient transportation options."
Lime officials say the city never proposed any modifications to the program and bemoans the fact that a decision was made after a 90 days pilot project – something they insist does not provide adequate data to make a proper decision.
"We remain open to solutions that address the city's concerns and are eager to bring the program back as soon as possible," Markevich added.
To use the e-scooters in Montreal, users had to be at least 18 years old, wear a helmet and ride at no more than 20 km/h.
There were designated areas where the scooters could be parked, highlighted by a white silhouette of a scooter on the ground.
The city has yet to say if the parking spaces lost to make room for the scooters – about 65 in the Ville-Marie borough alone – will be reinstated.