- It's the end of Bird and Lime electric scooters in Montreal.
- The city will not allow electric scooter services to comes back this year after a disastrous first summer.
- Electric bikes will still be allowed, however.
It's the end of the line for Bird and Lime electric scooters in Montreal. Montreal executive committee member Eric Alan Caldwell announced this morning that the city will not allow companies like Lime and Bird to operate this summer because scooter operators "did not respect the rules." The scooter rental companies were in Montreal on a pilot project in 2019.
According to the city's official report, e-scooters represented 61% of trips taken on app-based rental platforms during the summer. JUMP bikes made up the rest of the trips.
27% of these trips were short-distance trips to or from train or metro stations.
Caldwell said the city of Montreal was ill-prepared for e-scooter rental services and that both operators and the companies that owned the scooters didn't respect the city's bylaws.
While the city is still open to the idea of providing some kind of similar service, they will have to reevaluate their implementation of e-scooters in Montreal.
So, even though the scooters that famously littered Montreal in summer 2019 won't be back this year, there's still a chance that the city will allow an e-scooter company in the future.
JUMP bikes will still be available in Montreal, however, despite the fact that many users didn't follow the established rules, either.
The e-scooters were most popular in downtown Montreal or in places of high traffic density. The city found that in these areas, they caused many traffic problems on bike paths and sidewalks.
In terms of public security, 333 infractions were recorded by the SPVM. There were no serious injuries or fatalities associated with e-scooters.
Lime argues that the study was fundamentally flawed to make this important decision due to the small sample size and inadequate data.
On top of no one wearing a helmet, the city found that only 20% of e-scooters ended up parked in their designated parking zones.
Lime Canada's general manager Michael Markevich tells MTL Blog that "this unexpected temporary pause in the Montreal scooter program is incredibly disappointing and a major step backwards for the people of a city committed to reducing congestion and carbon emissions."
"It’s clear there was a real demand for greener, more convenient transportation options. We remain open to solutions that address the city’s concerns and are eager to bring the program back as soon as possible," he said.
In fact, this was one of the main criticisms of e-scooter rentals in Montreal, as people would carelessly dump them wherever they pleased. This caused the city of Montreal to implement fines for those who didn't respect the laws.
Many e-scooter riders did stay in the designated riding zones, however, even though some were found in banned neighbourhoods.
According to Lime, the city didn't have enough parking spots and placed them in inconvenient places that weren't clear to riders.
The city's report found that while e-bikes were less used overall, more people respected the regulations and were able to take longer trips.
JUMP bikes, in fact, complemented BIXI service in neighbourhoods such as downtown and the Plateau.
Although the city is open to a new e-scooter solution, Montrealers should not expect one anytime soon.
Even though you won't be able to rent them anymore, personal e-scooters will still be allowed on the streets of Montreal.
Fare thee well, Lime and Bird scooters. We hardly knew ye.
The city's complete e-scooter report is available here.