Shared e-scooters to be banned in Montreal in 2020

Montreal will ban shared, dockless e-scooters in the city for 2020.

The announcement was made at Wednesday’s executive committee meeting by Coun. Éric Alan Caldwell, citing mass noncompliance with the city’s rules for the vehicles.

“Our rules were not respected and the operators did not ensure they were respected,” Caldwell said.

Caldwell said that while e-scooters can have a place in cities such as Montreal, they must not come at the expense of impeding other modes of transportation in the city. “And that’s what happened last year,” he concluded.

“That’s why, in 2020, there will be no e-scooters in the streets of Montreal.”

The e-scooters — operated by companies including Bird Canada and Lime — had been allowed last summer as part of a pilot project.

But a city report, which was tabled at Wednesday’s executive committee meeting, found that during the pilot, scooters were only parked in their designated zones 20 per cent of the time.

“Eight e-scooters on 10 did not respect our rules… which led to problems,” Caldwell said. “Security issues. Issues for other modes of transportation, be it pedestrians, cyclists, or drivers. Issues that led to disorder in the city.”

Those issues led the city of Montreal to bring in new fines during the pilot project, with Mayor Valérie Plante saying she was “not satisfied” with how the e-scooters were being implemented.

Montreal police also issued 333 tickets to e-scooter users for not respecting the Highway Safety Code, according to the report. Tickets for not wearing a helmet accounted for 324 of them.

Caldwell did not close the door on allowing e-scooters to return to the city in the future, but said the city was not interested in policing whether or not they’re being parked properly.

He said it was the operators’ responsibility to ensure that users complied with the rules which did not happen last year.

In a statement, Lime general manager Michael Markevich said the move was “incredibly disappointing” and a “major step backwards.”

“It’s clear there was a real demand for a greener, more convenient transportation option,” the statement read. “We remain open to solutions that address the city’s concerns and are eager to bring the program back as soon as possible.”

Lime acknowledged that cases of improper parking were high, but claimed the city’s designated parking spots were not conveniently placed and there were not enough of them to meet demand.

There were 410 designed spots across Montreal, according to the city.

In a statement, Bird Canada said it was disappointed but hopes to bring the e-scooters back “when the City will have resolved its parking issues.”

Shared electronic bikes, such as Jump bikes, will still be allowed to operate this year.


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