500 e-scooters will hit the streets tonight as Kelowna makes them legal

E-scooters now street legal

It didn't take long for electric scooter rentals to become widely available.

With the ink barely dry on bylaw changes making e-scooters street legal in Kelowna, it was announced Lime has been awarded a permit to provide the service in the city.

Lime, the world's leading provider of shared electric vehicles, plans to drop 500 electric scooters in Kelowna tonight.

It was just hours earlier that city council adopted changes to its traffic bylaws making it legal for people to use e-scooters anywhere bicycles are allowed. Until today, e-scooters were only allowed on city property, such as the rail trail, the waterfront promenade and in City Park.

However, while e-scooters are now legal on bike lanes and shared pathways, they are not permitted on sidewalks.

“We are deeply grateful to the City of Kelowna for the opportunity to serve its residents and visitors and are so excited to build a shared e-scooter program tailored to meet the needs of this beautiful city,” said Lime Canada GM Jen Freiman

“We look forward to supporting the community by providing a safe and sustainable transportation option for people to enjoy a truly beautiful corner of British Columbia. Lime congratulates the City of Kelowna for its leadership amongst B.C. cities by being the first to offer new 21st-century car-free mobility options to help meet its lofty transit and sustainability goals.”

Lime has also partnered with Tourism Kelowna to ensure riders have access to helmets. Anyone is able to obtain a free Lime helmet at the Visitor Information Centre on Queensway.

Lime says it will focus on rider safety, supporting local businesses and sustainability. It will also conduct a rider education and training program.

Local operators will be hired to prevent sidewalk clutter and handle any problems that arise.

"The initial area Lime hopes to serve was chosen based on detailed research into where shared e-scooters and e-bikes could have the biggest positive impact on tourism and sustainability, in addition to safety considerations like bike path locations," a news release stated.

"Lime will be constantly evaluating data and collaborating with the city to improve and hopefully expand its operations over the course of the pilot program."

In order to utilize the Lime service, users must first download the company app.

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