Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

Brampton’s E-Scooter Program Aims for a Comeback with New Parking Solutions

Brampton is preparing to reintroduce electric scooter rentals following a largely successful pilot program, although modifications addressing parking issues are expected before its relaunch.

The city initiated the pilot last year, becoming the first in the GTA to implement an e-scooter scheme. A report to be presented to the Brampton City Council next week highlights approximately 200,000 trips recorded between April 3 and November 12.

During the test phase, three providers deployed around 750 scooters daily, accommodating 110,000 registered users who covered about 415,000 kilometers. Notably, 40% of users utilized the e-scooters primarily to connect with public transit routes. Neuron, one of the providers, noted that 6% of its riders reported disabilities or mobility impairments, with many finding the e-scooters helpful for traveling long distances.

However, the new transport option was not without criticisms. The city received 337 scooter-related complaints via its 311 service, mainly concerning parking issues. According to the report, 13% of all e-scooter service requests pertained to “Litter, Debris, and Obstruction,” with significant grievances about improperly parked scooters on private properties or obstructing sidewalks. Despite these issues, the complaint rate relative to the number of trips was just 0.002%.

To address these concerns, the city is considering a “hybrid parking model” that would feature designated e-scooter parking stalls in high-traffic areas and a more lenient parking approach in quieter zones. This model aims to improve compliance, which stood at only 60% during the pilot.

Usage data indicates that e-scooter activity peaked in May last year with over 40,000 trips, decreasing slightly in the summer months. The proposed start date for the program’s second year is May 1, although this coincides with the council meeting to discuss the report, making the timeline ambitious.

E-scooters in Brampton must adhere to a speed limit of 20 km/h and are restricted to roads, as sidewalk usage is prohibited. Additionally, speed is automatically reduced to 15 km/h in parks and crowded areas due to geo-fencing technology.

During the initial rollout, the activation fee and per-minute charges were comparable among the three providers, with slight variations in rates.

Brampton aims to refine and expand its e-scooter program, enhancing urban mobility while addressing the challenges faced during its inaugural year.

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