Skip to content

E-scooters legal in North Vancouver for four more years

Council members were irked by the lack of safety data before making a decision
North Shore News reporter Brent Richter tests out an e-scooter on the Spirit Trail in North Vancouver, May 9, 2022. | Paul McGrath, North Shore News

Electric kick-scooters are likely here to stay – at least for another four years.

City of North Vancouver and District of North Vancouver councils both voted April 8 to extend their inclusion in the province’s pilot project to legalize e-scooters until 2028.

The micromobility devices have been permitted on North Shore bike lanes and some North Shore streets since 2022.

The two-year pilot, which was launched by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, was intended to allow the province and participating municipalities to gather safety and usage data that might inform future legislation to make them permanent.

Under the rules, you do not need a driver’s licence to ride e-scooters, but you must be at least 16 years old. Helmets are mandatory.

In North Vancouver, they are permitted on local streets that do not have a solid painted line separating lanes, on any mobility/bike lanes, and paved multi-use paths like the Spirit Trail or Green Necklace.

According to the province, injuries and conflicts with other road and path users are rare when scooter riders follow the rules and that there has been general support for the program in the municipalities where it was introduced.

City council members had no qualms about extending the pilot but they were struck by the lack of data from the province and Vancouver Coastal Health before making a decision.

“The interim results are really not results. They’re really just very blanket statements,” Mayor Linda Buchanan said. “I’m not really sure why we’re having to do another four years of a pilot if people are generally supporting supportive of it…. I’m not sure what more we’re going to learn in four years that perhaps we don’t know.”

According to staff, the city has been collecting some of the data but it is not being released publicly.

City staff said the length of the pilot is likely tied to a longer-term project from the province – modernizing the Motor Vehicle Act, making it more attentive to vulnerable road users who aren’t in motor vehicles.

Council’s vote to extend the pilot was unanimous, with several noting that it advances the city’s goals of giving people more sustainable transportation options.

“They are very popular, I see them all over, I see them all over the place and I’m very happy about that,” Buchanan said, adding that the minimum age should be lowered to allow younger kids the option of taking them to school. “I’m happy to participate in it. I just think, from my perspective, council is going to need a lot more information from the province.”

District of North Vancouver council members also raised safety concerns before casting their unanimous vote in favour.

Later this year, the three North Shore municipalities will be seeking bids from the open market to find the next company that will operate the e-bike sharing program on the North Shore, currently operated by Lime – and the request will include the option to add e-scooters to the program, city staff said.

[email protected]