Charlottetown e-scooter company says it welcomes regulation Leave a comment

The owner of a new electric scooter company in Charlottetown said he believes regulations will improve his business. 

Epic Electric Scooters began renting out the motor-powered vehicles in the city this summer.

While e-scooters are currently unregulated in P.E.I., new rules around the use of helmets, minimum age requirements, and where the vehicles are allowed will be coming into effect soon in the province.

But owner Tafadzwa Mpaso said he’s not worried, and that his business is here to stay.

“Scooters are becoming more popular, so it’s just not my business who has scooters,” he said.

“We’re just gonna give those people, you know, specifications where to use those scooters and what they need in order to use them.”

Users could face fines

While the new regulations aren’t in place yet, the province said users can still face fines. For example, police can ticket riders for impeding the flow of traffic.

Mpaso said under the company’s own rules, people are supposed to be at least 19 years old to ride them, wear a helmet and they shouldn’t ride them on sidewalks.

“Sidewalks are for pedestrians, it’s not for motorized vehicles. So they need to be on the road,” he said.

Mpaso said he’d like to see e-scooters permitted only on roads and bicycle lanes.

He said his scooters can go at speeds of up to 25 kilometres per hour, but that they have systems in place that allow the company to control the maximum speed.

“If the regulation comes out and say we want these scooters on P.E.I. roads to go about 15 kilometres an hour, my company is able to alter those speeds,” he said.

Company looking to expand

The scooters can go at speeds of up to 25 kilometres per hour, but Mpaso says they have systems in place that allow the company to control their maximum speed. (Sheehan Desjardins/CBC)

Epic Electric Scooters has recorded more than 2,500 rides since September. Most of them are concentrated in downtown Charlottetown, with people paying about 29 cents per minute to use them.

The company currently has 20 scooters.

The scooters will be available for rent until Nov. 27. Mpaso said next year, he intends to expand to rentals to Summerside and Cavendish.

The province said once the regulations become law, the onus will be on operators and consumers to adhere to them.

“This is a new mode of transport that just came in effect all over the country not a long time ago. So people [are adapting] to new technology,” Mpaso said.

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