City expected to amend bylaws to allow electric scooter, bike sharing programs

The city expects to move closer to allowing e-scooters and e-bikes onto Edmonton roads, but a councillor worries sharing programs won't be able to be running by June as had been hoped.

Councillor worries provincial exemption could slow sharing programs from starting in June

Lime is one of the companies hoping to setup an electric scooter share program in Edmonton. (Lime)

A plan to roll out sharing programs for electric bikes and electric scooters onto Edmonton streets this summer still hinge on a provincial exemption to the Alberta Traffic Safety Act.

City council is keen to allow the e-scooter and e-bike programs and has already voted in favour of seeking an exemption from provincial legislation.

The city's urban planning committee will discuss bylaw amendments on Tuesday.

Coun. Andrew Knack said he expects e-scooters will be more popular than e-bikes, as has been the case in other cities.

"That seems to become the biggest choice, not so much the electric bike side of things," Knack said. "Working through how we want people to use that and how active people can be in that space, that's something I'm really interested in having a conversation about."

The city had hoped to have scooter and bike sharing programs up and running by June, but Knack is worried it will take longer since the bylaw depends on the province granting the city an exemption.

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"The report suggests that it could take a few more months, which should be a little frustrating," Knack said. "Because we had first hoped to get an exemption to this process so that these companies who are ready to operate could start operating."

Under the proposed bylaw amendment, an e-scooter equipped with at least one headlight, a rear tail lamp and rear reflector would be allowed on any road with a speed limit of 50 km/h or under.



Travis McEwan

Video journalist

Travis McEwan is a video journalist who covers stories ranging from human interest and sports to municipal and provincial issues. Originally from Churchill, Man., Travis has spent the last decade working at CBC Edmonton reporting for web, radio and television. Email story ideas to travis.mcewan@cbc.ca.