E-scooters hit the road in Ottawa

E-scooters are now available for rent in Ottawa from the first of three companies chosen to take part in a city pilot project.

Pilot project with 3 rental companies to run until end of October

Bird launched e-scooter service in Ottawa July 16, 2020. (Francis Ferland/CBC)

E-scooters are now available for rent in Ottawa from the first of three companies chosen to take part in a city pilot project.

The city said in a news release residents can expect to see Bird Canada's e-scooters popping up in central Ottawa on Thursday.

The standup scooters can be rented using a mobile app. They cost $1.15 to unlock and 35 cents a minute to ride, plus tax, according to the Bird app.

The city is still finalizing contracts with Lime and Roll so they can launch their scooters, too. The companies will have slightly different boundaries.

Dockless e-scooters have been legal since the end of June on city streets with a speed limit up to 50 km/h, as well as on bike lanes and paths.

The scooters can only be parked in the "sidewalk furniture zone" closest to the curb, near benches, bike racks and trees. When the companies receive a complaint about an inappropriately parked rental scooter, they have one hour to move it.

The scooters aren't allowed on sidewalks, buses or trains, nor on National Capital Commission or City of Gatineau roadways, and are programmed to slow to a crawl if the user tries to enter one of those areas.

Bird is one of three companies Ottawa says will take part in its pilot project. The others are Lime, which has a partnership with Uber, and Canadian startup Roll. (Michel Aspirot/CBC)

Ottawa's pilot project will run until the end of October. Other cities including Montreal ran into problems with improper parking, and decided against making their rental programs permanent.

The scooters have to have a bell, brakes and lights, and won't work between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. You need to be 18 to rent one.

They'll be disinfected daily, the city said, but riders are asked to use their own disinfectant wipes and to wash their hands before and after use.

WATCH: How the first rentals work

Here’s how you can rent an e-scooter in Ottawa

2 years ago
Duration 0:49
Gaby Gonzalez-Sirois, a spokesperson for Bird Canada, explains how much it will cost to rent one of their scooters and where in Ottawa you’ll be able to find them.

Where e-scooters can be rented

Bird's e-scooters will run in parts of central Ottawa neighbourhoods including Centretown, Sandy Hill, the ByWard Market, the Glebe and Hintonburg. (City of Ottawa)
Lime's western boundary is the Trillium Line tracks. (City of Ottawa)
Roll's western boundary will be Parkdale Avenue. (City of Ottawa)

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