Kitchener-Waterloo

Lime e-scooter pilot project to end in Waterloo

Lime e-scooters will not stay in Waterloo past the end of the second phase of its pilot project on August 12.

City of Waterloo wants to work with province to introduce more e-scooter friendly legislation

Economic development coordinator Rachel Martin said Ontario e-scooter legislation dissuaded Lime scooters from staying in Waterloo. (Lime)

Lime Electric Scooter Rentals has decided to not renew its pilot project with the City of Waterloo following the end of the second phase on August 12.

In a written statement to CBC Kitchener-Waterloo, Michael Markevich, Lime general manager for Eastern Canada, cited the Ontario Ministry of Transportation's current consultation on electric scooters as the reason for the project's withdrawal. Currently, Ontario legislation prohibits e-scooter use on public streets.

"This is a natural time to wrap up our operations in Waterloo and on campus as the pilots are scheduled to end in the coming days," Markevich said. "[We] look forward to partnering again in the future."

Rachel Martin, an economic development co-ordinator for the city, said that while a third phase was "never written in stone," they had expressed interest in continuing the partnership to Lime. 

"They have other projects in Canada now — in Montreal and in Calgary. And in those provinces the legislative environment is much easier for them to operate," Martin said.

She added that these markets are also larger than Waterloo, and therefore more profitable for the company. 

Waterloo wants legislative change

Despite some issues surrounding safety and environmental impact on trails during the early days of the pilot, Martin said the city considers the pilot a success.

"I think that people were looking forward to having the program around a little bit longer, especially with the students, with the start of class coming up in September," she said.

"We look forward to working with the province and hopefully enabling scooters to be back here in Waterloo at some point in the near future."

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