E-scooter company gets permit, readies Montreal operations

Lime will deploy its e-scooters once it has prepared parking zones in Ville-Marie, Villeray—Saint-Michel—Parc-Extension and Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce.

Lime, an e-scooter company, is preparing over 200 parking zones in 3 boroughs

Coming soon to a street near you: the City of Montreal gave Lime a permit to operate e-scooters in Montreal on Monday. (Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/Getty Images)

E-scooters will soon be found on Montreal's streets, and in more neighbourhoods than originally planned, after the City of Montreal gave its approval earlier this week. 

Lime, an international e-scooter company, was given an operating permit on Monday. The company will deploy its e-scooters in the boroughs of Ville-Marie, Villeray—Saint-Michel—Parc-Extension and Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce.

There will be a total of 239 parking zones in these boroughs. An additional 18 zones are being readied in Westmount. 

(For the sake of comparison, there are more than 7,000 paid car parking spots in the borough of Ville-Marie alone.)

The vehicles are shared, battery-powered, app-activated and have no need for docking stations.

Quebec's Transport Ministry made some interim changes in June to road rules in order to allow a pilot phase for scooters on the streets.

The e-scooters were initially expected to roll out in July, but it took Montreal officials several weeks to process Lime's permit application.

Lloyd Bureau, a freestyle scooter rider and entrepreneur, testing out a Lime e-scooter in Mile End in May. (Craig Desson/CBC)

In the spring, Ville-Marie had proposed allowing e-scooters in a relatively small area of the borough, but has since "expanded its service operating area to promote greater mobility throughout their territory," the Montreal spokesperson said.

The service will expand to Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie in about a month, according to Radio-Canada.

Other boroughs have passed on the e-scooters this year but may take them on next year, if Lime's permit is renewed.

Dude, where's my e-scooter?

The conditions Montreal has set for the company to operate an e-scooter service are among the most strict in the world.

They include the creation of parking zones — a response to problems in other cities where e-scooters are often left in the middle of sidewalks or green spaces.

These will be identified by a box painted on the street with a scooter logo, and will typically be found close to intersections, beyond the last parking spot for cars.

Users will have to use Lime's app to photograph their e-scooter at the end of their ride to demonstrate that its been parked in an authorized area. A maximum of four scooters are permitted in any one parking zone.

The conditions Montreal has set for Lime to operate an e-scooter service are among the most strict in the world. (Mehdi Fedouach/AFP/Getty Images)

Riders will be required to wear a helmet, be 18 or older and be licensed to drive a moped. (A driver's license or learner's permit for any class — except the class 8 tractor permit — allows its holder to drive a moped; those without another license can get one through the SAAQ).

Scooters will be limited to a top speed of 20 km/h and will be prohibited on sidewalks and on roads where the speed limit exceeds 50 km/h.

Users will also have to take a short online training course when they first activate the mobile application.

With files from Elysha Enos and Radio-Canada


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