Scooters

Several companies that rent e-scooters will be quick off the mark Monday when the City of Kelowna gives final approval to a bylaw permitting the devices to be used on local roads.

A new way to get around Kelowna should arrive Monday afternoon with the expected launch of several e-scooter rental firms.

As soon as city council gives formal approval to a new bylaw allowing the electric scooters to operate on Kelowna streets, four operators are ready to roll.

"The companies should be starting their rentals within maybe 30 minutes or an hour after council's approval," Matt Worona, the city's active transportation manager, said Thursday.

The ready-to-go companies are Zip, Bunny, Lime, and Roll.

Kelowna is one of six B.C. communities to receive special permission from the provincial government to allow e-scooters on city streets on a trial basis.

Pricing varies, but e-scooter rentals are in the range of $1.25 to unlock the device plus usage charges of around 20 cents a minute.

The devices have an "electric fence" which limits their usage to specified areas, those generally being downtown Kelowna and other highly urbanized neighbourhoods.

E-scooters cannot be ridden on sidewalks, Highway 97, or Highway 33. They can go everywhere bikes can go, which means all city streets and multi-use pathways.

Services are "dockless", which means the e-scooters do not have to be picked up or dropped off at specified locations. But they must be left in a way that does not impede traffic or pedestrians.