Dreaded Electric Scooter Rentals Might Be Coming Back To Montreal — But Only In One Area

If you previously hated Montreal's e-scooters, we have bad news for you.

Senior Editor
Electric scooters on a sidewalk in Ottawa, Ontario in 2020.

Electric scooters on a sidewalk in Ottawa, Ontario in 2020.

Broken scooter bits in storm drains. Abandoned scooters in the metro. Scooters tossed into the Lachine Canal. Few could forget the wrecks of wheels and wires that littered the city in the summer of 2019. So disastrous was the introduction of electric scooter-sharing services in Montreal that the city banned them after only a few months. Now, they could be set to return, though with a much smaller range.

The Montreal Agglomeration Council is set to consider a by-law that would allow an electric scooter service to operate in Parc Jean-Drapeau — and only Parc Jean-Drapeau — between June 1 and November 15, 2023

La Presse was the first to report this news.

The pilot project would see between 100 and 200 scooters in the park. The proposal calls for the integration of a GPS tracking system that would prevent riders from straying outside of the operating area. The scooters would also have attached helmets and speed restrictions.

The by-law summary (page 1,346 of the March 23 Agglomeration Council agenda) also promises designated parking spots and rules so that scooters "shall not obstruct traffic," because that worked so well the first time.

The Société du parc Jean-Drapeau (SPJD), the body that manages the park straddling two islands in the Saint Lawrence River, cites a goal to diversify mobility options while "eliminating automobile traffic" in the sprawling public space, as justification for the proposal.

However, there are a few hurdles before it becomes a reality. The Agglomeration Council, which governs the whole of the Montreal region, including the city and on-island suburbs, will begin consideration of the new by-law on March 23 but won't vote on the proposal until its April 20 meeting.

Then if it passes, the SPJD will have to find a private-sector partner who can actually operate an e-scooter rental system within the proposed restrictions.

Thomas MacDonald
Senior Editor
Thomas is MTL Blog's Senior Editor. He lives in Saint-Henri and loves it so much that he named his cat after it. On weekdays, he's publishing stories, editing and helping to manage MTL Blog's team of amazing writers. His beats include the STM, provincial and municipal politics and Céline Dion. On weekends, you might run into him brunching at Greenspot, walking along the Lachine Canal or walking Henri the cat in Parc Sir-George-Étienne-Cartier.