Electric scooters were a big hit when they were launched in Ottawa
Electric scooters have been a big hit on Ottawa's streets in their first few days, and cyclists have ridden them thousands of times since their arrival on Thursday.
"The whole weekend has been a huge success," Bird Canada CEO Stewart Lyons told CTV News at noon."Between Thursday and Sunday night, we rode about 5,000 cars, which is incredible, especially since there are only 260 scooters."
Bird Canada is the first of three companies in Ottawa to rent out baseless electric scooters.
Electric scooters can be called using an app that eliminates the need to stop at a specific station when the user finishes using them.They can simply stay in the "furniture section" of the sidewalk, where there are benches, newspaper boxes and other similar items.
Users seem to largely follow the rules.Vivi Chi, the city's director of transportation planning, said in a statement Monday that since the program began, the city has received three requests for service on electric scooters.
"Residents and businesses can contact the electric scooter provider directly to report improperly parked electric scooters," she added."The provider has promised to respond to a parked electric scooter within an hour."
The scooters, which have a maximum speed of 20km/h, are not allowed in the National Capital Council's walkways, Bridges to Gatineau and pedestrian-only Spaces such as Sparks Street.
Restricted areas are clearly indicated in the application.Thanks to geo-fencing, scooters beep and roll slowly to a stop if brought into a restricted area.
Lyons said the latest challenge is dealing with a surge in demand for electric scooters, which means some of them are running out of battery life.
"Sometimes people will see the scooter parked in front of them and they will open the app, but the app will not be available.That's because they don't have batteries, "he said."That's our challenge, just getting them to charge up and turn around fast enough for people to rent them again."
Lyons said the scooters should be cleaned twice a day as required by the city.However, they are not disinfected between each use, so it is recommended that each user bring a disinfectant wiper to clean them before riding.
The board approved the electric scooter pilot project last month.Along with Bird, two other companies in the city that have approved the rental of electric scooters are Roll and Lime.
The city has limited the number of electric scooters available for hire to 600.