April 16th, 2024

City’s one-year e-scooter pilot project launches Thursday

By Medicine Hat News on May 27, 2022.

Two Bird e-scooters sit on the corner of 12th Streey NE and Fourth Avenue. Thursday was the first day of a one-year e-scooter pilot project.--NEWS PHOTO JAMES TUBB

A new mode of transportation launched in Medicine Hat on Thursday, as the city and Bird Canada rolled out a collaborative e-scooter pilot project.

The one-year pilot is being funded and operated by Bird Canada, a company specializing in electric vehicle sharing, with the City of Medicine Hat providing program framework.

“We’re excited to bring this new mode of micro-transportation into our community,” Mayor Linnsie Clark said. “It is another way for residents and visitors to see and explore our city.”

The e-scooters can be found at 12 locations in the downtown, the Flats and Crescent Heights. All locations are shown on the Bird Ride Electric smartphone app, which riders must download before using.

When riders arrive at an e-scooter location, they scan the scooter’s QR with their phone and add payment information. There is a base fee of $1.15. An additional 35 cents is charged for each minute of use. Once payment has been processed, the e-scooter is ready to use.

E-scooters can be used on paved trails and designated roadways and bike lanes throughout the city. E-scooters are not permitted on downtown sidewalks, at city hall, at skateparks, on buses or outside city limits.

When a user is done with their e-scooter, they are asked to park it in an area not obstructing pedestrian or vehicular movement, or on private property, such as driveways, loading docks and yards. The app will also assist riders in locating designated parking spots.

E-scooter riders must be 16 years of age or older. The city strongly encourages riders to wear a helmet, something which can be requested through the app.

Maximum speed for the scooters is 20 kilometres per hour. Speed will be automatically reduced to 15 kilometres per hour in several high-traffic areas.

The city and Bird Canada encourages e-scooter riders to practise standard road safety measures. Bird Canada is offering safety events through the summer, where riders will learn the basics of micro-mobility vehicle operations, as well as rules of the road.

For more information, riders are asked to contact Bird Canada at hello@birdcanada.co or 1-866-205-2442.

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