Waterloo Region Connected

Full Version: Lime Scooter Share
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
City of Waterloo had a council meeting today.

I delegated for my item, which was a request to have council ask Regional council to look into having more protection than roll curbs for Phase 2 of the separated bike lane project on King St.

It was passed unanimously. Yay.

However they also passed a pilot project for Lime scooters along the path through Waterloo park up to the R&T Park (excluding UW campus, including the R&T Park).

While this pilot may be interesting and "cool"...I believe that approving it, with virtually no process is effectively throwing the rest of the region (not to mention the rest of the City of Waterloo) under the bus, WRT DropBike's pilot project. It has been negotiation in good faith for over a year with the region, and is nearing an agreement, but they may be far less willing to form an agreement with another operator already in place. The Dropbike reps were quite unhappy that they have been forced to go through this lengthy process, but Lime scooter is approved without it.

I give about 60% odds that drop bike will drop out of an agreement.
Is a scooter program that much of a threat to a bikeshare? I imagine there's some overlap, but they have quite a difference in range and general appeal.
Yeah, aren’t more options better? These new electric scooter startups are everywhere in the states.
On one hand I'm looking forward to scooters in R&T Park to help with the "last kilometer" problem of getting from the LRT stop to the office. On the other hand, given that I usually cycle along the Laurel Trail to work, I'm not looking forward to an increase in unsafe fast-moving traffic.

I'm wondering if they'll have to update the pictograms on the new Waterloo Park paths to add a scooter icon to the bike lanes?
(10-01-2018, 09:21 PM)KevinL Wrote: [ -> ]Is a scooter program that much of a threat to a bikeshare? I imagine there's some overlap, but they have quite a difference in range and general appeal.

This is certainly a matter of opinion, but there absolutely is overlap, both serve as a last mile solution to transit, and most companies involved in one, are involved in others.

The bigger issue I see is the optics.  DropBike has gone through an extensive, thorough, and no doubt expensive process to get a pilot started here.  They made many concessions.  Lime's scooter pilot has had none of these challenges.  It appears to be very unfair how they're being treated here.  You can argue that scooters and bikes are different, but the systems are similar, why are the processes so different?
Was was it so hard for DropBike to start up? Why was it so delayed? To people like me, the general public who don't know the "insides" of what's going on, this makes DropBike look like the bad guy (are they? I have no idea) because they said they were starting here, and then they didn't.

What were Council's answers to the question of why Limescooter or whoever can start up so easily?
(10-02-2018, 09:03 AM)goggolor Wrote: [ -> ]On the other hand, given that I usually cycle along the Laurel Trail to work, I'm not looking forward to an increase in unsafe fast-moving traffic.

I've read the scooters top out around 25km/h so are they really any more dangerous than a cyclist going that speed? I've seen a lot of cyclists go faster 30km/h on the trails...  Bikesnob's review of Portland's scooter trial made me a lot less apprehensive of the whole scooter thing. I've mostly stopped using the laurel trail through the university area unless it's late at night or some other time when pedestrian traffic is low.
A bike can go 30 km/h only with sustained effort, and anyone going that speed is presumably comfortable with their ride. It is tricky riding the Laurel Trail past UW, especially around the terribly designed University Ave intersection. Just imagining that putting a lot of new powered vehicles that can easily reach top speeds, operated by new users on lanes that are already overcrowded with inattentive pedestrians may cause some issues. But I guess that's what a pilot is for - maybe it will be a driver to improve the UW-adjacent trails similar to Waterloo Park.
(10-02-2018, 11:45 AM)Canard Wrote: [ -> ]Was was it so hard for DropBike to start up?  Why was it so delayed?  To people like me, the general public who don't know the "insides" of what's going on, this makes DropBike look like the bad guy (are they? I have no idea) because they said they were starting here, and then they didn't.

What were Council's answers to the question of why Limescooter or whoever can start up so easily?

Welcome to the Region of Waterloo where the governments are made up and boundaries don't matter.

Well, that's the short answer...the long answer is that DropBike...for whatever historical reason, was told that they had to launch a pilot within the entire region, including all three cities...

As a result, they have been put through an extensive process making an agreement with all three cities as well as, and at least according to the City of Waterloo, the particular sticking point, the Region of Waterloo.  The region required a much more extensive process than CoW claims that it wanted.

As a result, DropBike spent more than a year negotiating, where Lime scooter was approved in an afternoon.  I'm exaggerating here, I assume there was substantial behind the scenes discussion, as well, Lime scooter's pilot is *supposed* to be more restricted, users are not permitted to ride the scooters outside of the pilot area, or on public roads/rights of way, only trails and private property--DropBike feels these restrictions won't actually be enforced.
These tiny little scooters don’t go 25 km/h. They’ll be lucky to top 20.
Lime touts they can do 13MPH, which is 21Km/h and most people report you can go faster on a downhill.

The whole dropbike thing is frustrating. But this has a lot to do with Cambridge constantly complaining they are being left out of deals and then not actually want to take part in regional initiatives. There is a big push by regional staff to be seen as cross regional (and this is stretching to the townships) and so they always present options to Cambridge even when it doesn't make statisical sense (the bike lane project). It's the nature of the region these days and frustrating.

One frustrating part for me is the RFP process. Like Lime is going to be here installed this fall... Lime also has a whole dockless bike share component. Why didn't the bid before? It would be great if we had one app for the region and could get on either a bike or a scooter.
(10-02-2018, 02:24 PM)welltoldtales Wrote: [ -> ]Lime touts they can do 13MPH, which is 21Km/h and most people report you can go faster on a downhill.

The whole dropbike thing is frustrating. But this has a lot to do with Cambridge constantly complaining they are being left out of deals and then not actually want to take part in regional initiatives. There is a big push by regional staff to be seen as cross regional (and this is stretching to the townships) and so they always present options to Cambridge even when it doesn't make statisical sense (the bike lane project). It's the nature of the region these days and frustrating.

One frustrating part for me is the RFP process. Like Lime is going to be here installed this fall... Lime also has a whole dockless bike share component. Why didn't the bid before? It would be great if we had one app for the region and could get on either a bike or a scooter.

This was absolutely DropBike's argument.  The city however felt that competition was a good thing...

DropBike's agreement is exclusive, which is probably why Limebike was unable to pursue a bike share component.
That's pretty problematic if the cities/region's regulatory process isn't being applied equally across the board. Doesn't this expose them to a lawsuit from Dropbike?
(10-02-2018, 03:50 PM)jamincan Wrote: [ -> ]That's pretty problematic if the cities/region's regulatory process isn't being applied equally across the board. Doesn't this expose them to a lawsuit from Dropbike?

The city's lawyers have stated they believe (and are probably correct) that the exclusive agreement only covers bike share, and not scooter share.

Of course, from a user experience point of view, this is missing the point.

But at the very least, there is not an obvious lawsuit opportunity there.
So the scooters are already availablee.

The app already has a bunch showing.
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8