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E-scooters can now roam more Coquitlam streets. What you need to know

A 16-month pilot project has begun and there are rules for interested commuters to follow, including a legal riding age of 16 years and older.
Coquitlam is expanding e-scooter users' options in designated areas around the city as part of a 16-month pilot project and campaign.

Coquitlam commuters may soon notice more electronic kick scooters (e-scooters) rolling down local streets.

Today (Jan. 17), the city launched a new provincially-run pilot project that will allow the scooters in designated areas, primarily on bikes lanes and multi-use pathways.

The pilot will last for 16 months — between now and April 2024.

Thomas Thivener, Coquitlam's transportation planning manager, said the project includes road rules commuters must follow after council amended several bylaws Monday night (Jan. 16).

With the changes, Coquitlam becomes the 11th B.C. municipality to offer the option.

"This pilot project not only improves options for how people move in and around the community, but also contributes to reducing carbon emissions," Thivener explained in a news release.

"E-scooters and other electric micro-mobility devices are becoming more popular as a less expensive and convenient form of active transportation, well suited to urban areas and around transit hubs."

What are the rules?

Roughly two per cent of the Tri-Cities and North Fraser region currently owns an e-scooter, according to a Simon Fraser University (SFU) study from 2021.

With an expected increase in legal e-scooters, the city has established rules riders must follow. Failing to follow these rules could result in a fine from a bylaw enforcement officer.

New e-scooter rules include:

  • Rider must be 16 years or older
    • Driver's license not required
  • Rider must wear a helmet
  • E-scooter must have a bell and lights
  • Do not carry or tow passengers

E-scooter users must also follow the same rules and regulations as cyclists, Thivener said, such as:

  • Travelling a maximum of 24 km/h.
  • No riding on roads with speed limits of 50 km/h
    • Unless micro-mobility or multi-use pathways are included
  • No riding on sidewalks, park trails or pathways unless permitted by signs or pavement markings 
  • Riding as close to the right as possible on streets with no multi-use pathway

Thivener added the pilot project will not cover other micro-mobility devices like electric skateboards, unicycles or hoverboards.

He said the city may extend the campaign by adding e-scooter sharing this summer, depending on feedback and demand, with the city possibly seeking a service provider.

"E-scooter sharing is an important part of making micro-mobility options more accessible within the community and helping to reduce short-trip car use. It can also help remove barriers for people combining micro-mobility with transit."

The pilot project, which will also consist of an education awareness campaign on safety and etiquette, was part of Coquitlam's environmental sustainability plan that was approved in January 2021.

For more information about e-scooters, you can visit the City of Coquitlam's website.