Qualicum Beach is interested in taking part in a provincial pilot project that allows electric kick scooters to legally cruise the streets and bike paths. (Black Press file photo)

Qualicum Beach is interested in taking part in a provincial pilot project that allows electric kick scooters to legally cruise the streets and bike paths. (Black Press file photo)

Qualicum Beach interested in joining B.C.’s electric kick scooter pilot program

Staff directed to inquire about project

The Town of Qualicum Beach wants to take part in the province’s electric kick scooter pilot program.

Mayor Brian Wiese made a notice of motion at its regular council meeting, Sept. 21, for staff to contact the B.C. government to research the possibility of the town participating in the program and have a report brought to council for information update, and possible direction in the fourth quarter of 2022. The motion passed unanimously.

What prompted him to look into the pilot project was conversations with some residents who don’t have a car but use e-scooters to go grocery shopping or other for other needs.

“They’re getting tickets in town,” said Wiese.

Electric kick scooters are illegal to ride on public roads and sidewalks in British Columbia unless you reside in one of the eight communities that are taking part in the pilot program. On Vancouver Island, only the City of Nanaimo is involved and Wiese said “it’s a great idea.”

READ MORE: B.C. pilot study to allow e-scooters to operate legally in 6 cities

“I went to a meeting with the province with the current people that are in the project and there’s overwhelming success,” said Wiese, who feels it will be a good project for the town.

“It’s good for the climate. It’s good for getting around. I think it’s just a good thing that we should get done.”

Under the pilot project, initiated in 2021 as a way of looking at emerging forms of transportation and also to find ways to reduce greenhoue gas emissions, electric kick scooters can be ridden on street and highway if the speed limit is 50 kilometres per hour or less, use designated lanes for cycling or in the absence of a designated lane for cyclists, ride as near as possible to the right side of the street. If the speed limit is greater than 50 km/h, the scooters may only be ridden in designated cycle lanes on streets or highways.

A driver’s licence or insurance won’t be needed but riders must be at least 16, wear a helmet and follow the rules of the road. The rules of cycling in B.C. apply to the use of an electric kick scooter.

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

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