Salmon Arm  

Salmon Arm's active transportation committee still unsure about e-scooter pilot program

No e-scooter program yet

It's been five months, but Salmon Arm council is still waiting for its active transportation advisory committee to decide whether to recommend the city join the provincial e-scooter pilot program.

Salmon Arm council asked the active transportation advisory committee to look into the possibility of bringing an e-scooter program to Salmon Arm at a council meeting in January.

At a May 27 city council meeting, Coun. Tim Lavery explained the active transport advisory committee has learned a lot about the issue.

“There are really two tracks to this,” he said.

“The first one is what's called the provincial e-scooter pilot program, and that is what we've been discussing at this stage. The second one is that regarding the motion about legalizing having an e-scooter micro mobility share program requires both more city work as well as having adopted the pilot program.”

Lavery said the committee is still grappling with the implications of joining the pilot program.

“The committee is, I think you well know, fully interested in expanding active transportation infrastructure and increasing active transportation options and actually people getting out and doing active transportation," he said.

“The grappling parts are concerns about safety and the infrastructure that we don't have. We're awaiting some reports from Interior Health that have looked at this, as well as looking at Vernon and hopefully Kelowna to find out what educational components those cities have put in as part of going into the pilot program.”

Chris Larson, senior planner with the city, said staff attended a presentation about the provincial e-scooter pilot program in March.

“We're referring, of course, to electric kick scooters, battery powered devices with a motor,” he said. “This is a four-year provincial pilot and by opting in, the city would be legalizing the use of e-scooters within the community under the Motor Vehicle Act.”

In order to move forward with the program, Salmon Arm Council would need to pass a resolution to opt into the program.

“Under this pilot program, there's no obligation to proceed with any sort of rental fleet program. that would be a separate initiative,” Larson added. “The city may opt into this provincial pilot simply to provide a legal option for local e-scooter users.”

The committee is hoping to have a recommendation for Salmon Arm council after its next meeting on Oct. 7.

“I don't know what decision will be made in the fall,” Lavery said. “What I can say is it will be square on our table to see if we can come up with a recommendation to come back to council.”

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