Bird Canada brings e-scooters to Ottawa in new pilot

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E-scooter company Bird Canada has made its shared e-scooters available for use in Ottawa as part of a new pilot project approved by the city. A total of 260 Bird One e-scooters will be located in Ottawa for residents to use.

“Our hope is that other cities in the province are inspired by Ottawa’s action.”

The pilot project officially began Thursday and will run until October 31. It is Bird’s first major pilot in an Ontario city to launch since the provincial government launched a five-year pilot on January 1, aimed to support emerging technologies designed to help people move safely while limiting environmental impact.

“As the first city in Ontario to launch a shared e-scooter pilot, Ottawa has demonstrated just how quickly city council can be mobilized and implement the necessary by-laws to get up and running with a pilot,” said Stewart Lyons, CEO of Bird Canada. “Our hope is that other cities in the province are inspired by Ottawa’s action and also plan to take advantage of the benefits that shared e-scooters deliver.”

The province has set rules and requirements for the Ottawa pilot, including a minimum rider age of 16 years, helmets for riders under 18, and that e-scooters are equipped with a bell, brake, and lights.

Based on the City of Ottawa’s new bylaw, e-scooters will travel at a maximum speed limit of 20 km per hour, and riding will be prohibited on sidewalks, but permitted on all city-owned cycling facilities, multi-use pathways, footbridges, and on roads with speed limits of up to 50 km per hour.

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Last summer, Bird first announced it would bring its e-scooters to Canada and form a Canadian subsidiary company, which was followed by a launch in Alberta and a pilot in Toronto’s Distillery District. The company’s offering involves an app through which a user can search for available scooters nearby.

Before starting a trip, the user inputs their payment information and scans a code on the scooter, which initiates the trip. To end the trip, the user parks the scooter in the middle of the sidewalk, then ends the ride through Bird’s app.

Later this summer, Bird Canada will also bring its Safe Streets tour to Ottawa. The tour is designed to ensure responsible riding by making safety simple and giving riders tips to use for their next ride.

Image source Bird.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Writer, globetrotter, drone pilot & David Attenborough enthusiast