Calgary

Calgary e-scooters will disappear for the next 4 ½ months

Calgary's electric scooter pilot program is going into hibernation as of Friday, meaning you won't be able to zip around on a Bird or Lime scooter again until spring, when the program resumes.

Pilot program hibernating for winter, expected to resume in mid-March

In Calgary, users can ride only on sidewalks and pathways and in bike lanes. It is illegal to ride them on city roads. (Kyle Bakx/CBC)

The Birds are leaving for the winter, and the Limes are, too.

Calgary's electric scooter pilot program is going into hibernation as of Friday, meaning you won't be able to zip around on a Bird or Lime scooter again until spring, when the program resumes.

Stewart Lyons, CEO of Bird Canada, said Calgary was the company's best performing market out of the three Canadian cities where its e-scooters have rolled out, Montreal and Edmonton being the other two.

Since mid-July, Calgary's 1,500 Lime and Bird e-scooters have ferried 165,000 unique users on nearly 750,000 trips, covering almost 1.4 million kilometres, according to the latest numbers from the city.

"Obviously, that's a huge portion of the population trying out rides and using them as they're intended to be used, so we're very pleased," Lyons told the Calgary Eyeopener.

Bird Canada CEO Stewart Lyons says he's pleased with the adoption of his e-scooters in Calgary, despite some early shenanigans. (Scott Neufeld/CBC News)

The pilot program, however, did encounter some early hiccups with vandalism and general pranking in Alberta — mainly in Edmonton but also in Calgary. 

"We fished a few scooters out of the river. A couple went under the Peace Bridge. There was one in a tree," Lyons recalled.

"There was some shenanigans that occurred through the summer, but it does calm down as people get used to seeing them and realize they're not really ornaments for your living room or fun things to throw in the river," he said.

The city says e-scooters will return to Calgary on March 16, weather dependent. 

"And we'll see where it goes after next year," Lyons said. 

The city wrapped up an online survey in early October, collecting feedback from users and non-users of the pilot program alike. Those comments will help determine whether the electric scooter share program will become permanent in Calgary.

A summary and review of what the city heard will be made public later this year.


With files from the Calgary Eyeopener.

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