For the last few months, Lime's electric scooters have been sitting in warehouses outside of Montreal. After months of negotiations with the city of Montreal, the company has finally received the green light to start dispersing its electric bikes throughout the city, according to Radio-Canada.
UPDATE: TVA reports that the scooter launch has been postponed. It is now unclear whent the scooters will begin circulating.
EARLIER: Ville-Marie and Westmount will be the first areas to see these bikes, followed by Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension and Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce.
Montrealers should be able to start using the bikes as of this weekend. However, users should be warned that there will be strict limits on who can use these electric scooters. According to Radio-Canada, Montreal has some of the strictest regulations in the world regarding this mode of transportation.
Indeed, unlike most other places, users of these scooters will have to leave them in designated "parking areas," much like BIXI docks. Ville-Marie has about a hundred such spots.
The city hopes that this will stop users from littering roads and sidewalks with the dockless electric scooters, as users have been doing in other cities.
Users will also have to take a photo via Lime's application to prove that they did, indeed, leave their scooter in a designated area.
These are not the only regulations imposed on electric scooter commuters. Those who want to use Lime scooters need to be 18 and over and have a permit for a moped.
Users will also need to follow a short tutorial on how to use the scooters when they download the app. Scooterists are further required to wear a helmet.
The scooters will not be allowed on sidewalks, nor will they be allowed on roads with speed limits of 50 k.m./hour or more.
These regulations have been put in place to limit the number of injuries, which have been reported in other cities. Given the state of Montreal's roads, these precautions are particularly warranted here.
With all of these rules, it remains to be seen whether or not the scooters gain popularity in Montreal, particularly because they have a price point higher than that of BIXI or JUMP: to rent a Lime scooter, you pay $1 up front and then $0.30 per minute.
The pilot project will conclude in November, after which the city will decide whether they want to renew the project for the next year.