Lethbridge City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to proceed with a micro-mobility pilot project featuring rentable, battery-powered e-scooters, to see if they can be viable in the city.
Micro-mobility services offer a new way to get around communities, typically targeting centralized core areas with denser uses, while providing a low impact and active mode of transportation that could reduce single occupancy vehicle trips. This pilot program will also provide the potential opportunity for a new business to operate in Lethbridge.
The intention of the micro-mobility pilot is to be cost neutral to the City, while community engagement is to be conducted during the pilot. Timelines for a launch date are in the works.
"Micro-mobility supports active living and can connect neighbourhoods through effective multimodal systems," says Transportation Engineer Adam St. Amant. "It can help achieve a sustainable transportation system, an efficient and effective integrated transportation network and increase opportunities to access transit. We hope this pilot project will determine how this could work in Lethbridge."
Micro-mobility riders would use a smartphone app to locate, pay for and unlock a ridable device, then ride it within a designated area and park it when they're done. The pilot project would determine a competitive process in order to select a micro-mobility service provider, define pilot parameters and measures of success, where the units could travel (geo-fencing), as well as where and how to park them, then issue a report back to the Civic Works Standing Policy Committee with findings from the pilot.
Lethbridge is a desirable market due to proximity to Calgary, higher than average youth population and multiple postsecondary institutions, said representatives from Bird Canada and Lime Technology who presented to Civic Works SPC meeting on May 6. The full presentations can be viewed here.