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Kelowna council to review contract terms for e-scooter, e-bike operator

It’s been about a month since Kelowna City Council endorsed a staff recommendation to extend the e-scooter and e-bike program for another four years.

On Jan. 22, council voted in favour of extending the program, implementing new rules and opening up a contract model with a single operator.

The decision came after the provincial government announced a four-year extension of the program to April 2028.

On Monday, they will be reviewing the draft contract terms that have been prepared for Kelowna City Council.

This will guide the “competitive selection process” for a new operator with an initial contract term of two years.

An extension on that term will be done so at the city’s discretion based on the operator's performance, says the staff report.

Other terms in the draft contract include fleet size, parking requirements, operator response requirements, education and enforcement, location tracking and “geofences,” and safety.

The city wants the maximum fleet size to remain unchanged at 700 e-scooters and 300 e-bikes.

<who> Photo Credit: City of Kelowna

According to the staff report, the city would want at least 100 vehicles deployed each day and e-bikes would need to make up at least 40% of that. No more than 200 e-scooters would be allowed in the downtown core.

The city will be establishing mandatory parking areas in the downtown and the operator would need to ensure all vehicles are located in those designated areas by 6 am on weekdays and 8 am on weekends.

“The standard for parking compliance is 97 per cent. The City is free to conduct random audits of parking at any time,” the report says.

Outside of downtown, the current rules would apply with no established parking areas but with a requirement that e-scooters or bikes cannot be parked in a way that blocks sidewalks or hinders other micro-mobility vehicles.

If the operator fails any of those parking requirements, the city would have the authority to reduce the fleet size by 50% every two weeks.

The city would want the operator to have a 24/7 customer service phone number and email with the number printed on each scooter. The operator would be responsible for informing its customers on how to use the service, how to operate the scooter or bike, how and where to park as well as “continual and ongoing” education around issues like not wearing helmets or double riding.

Additionally, the operator must be able to restrict or “geofence” slow speed, no-parking or no-riding areas.

The draft contract also includes a section detailing penalties. Under the draft document, the city may fine the operator $50 for each infraction.

“For example, failure to respond within an hour to move three improperly parked vehicles would result in a $150 fine,” the report says.

Additionally, the operator would need to hold at least $5 million of general liability insurance.

The draft contract terms are headed to city council on Monday.



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