Isaac Ransom, Head of Government Relations, Neuron Mobility presented on micromobility and highlighted safety features of e-scooters discussing their implementation in the Ottawa area.
Committee members engaged in a discussion following all three deputations and addressed the following items:
- geofencing capabilities;
- accessible features such as braille and closed captioning;
- availability of e-scooters at transit hubs as a last mile tool to facilitate arrival to other
- enforcement and fines for misuse and speeding;
- prevention of sidewalk use;
- designated bike lanes and roadways for e-scooters use;
- the benefits of e-scooters for those who are disabled;
- concern with the ability to alert pedestrians of their approach;
- removing barriers on sidewalks to prevent tripping hazards; and
- enforcement for privately owned e-scooters.
Carol-Ann Chafe, Vice Chair advised the Committee that there is the need to look at all micromobility devices being banned from sidewalk use to prevent prolonging the process of having Council address each type of mobility device separately. Ms. Chafe advised the Committee that the removal of barriers is important but it is just not e-scooters that could potentially cause a tripping hazards, bicycles, planters and seating on sidewalks can also create concern.
Naz Husain, Chair expressed to the Committee that Mr. Lepofsky's research is based on Ottawa’s staff report, in 2021, that addressed serious safety concerns around the usage and parking of E Scooters. Barriers and obstructions to Accessibility would be created if such projects are to be approved in the Province of Ontario. Ms. Husain urged members of the Accessibility Advisory Committee to re-consider the recommendations.
Committee members were advised by Chris Schafer, Bird Canada and Isaac Ransom, Neuron Mobility in response to their concerns as follows:
- geofencing would be accurate within 10 cm of a sidewalk and that e-scooters that enter onto sidewalks would become halted through a program called rapid geofencing detection;
- braille, closed captioning, TTY relay services and customer service support are available for riders;
- park assist technology would be available for riders to know appropriate docking locations;
- improperly docked e-scooters would trigger an alert to the company; and
- e-scooters are a successful end of mile transportation to next destination around major transportation hubs.