At the most recent City council meeting, Council voted unanimously to bring micro-mobility and shared micro-mobility as a pilot program to launch this spring.
Chris MacIsaac, Transit Team Lead for the City of Airdrie, says the micro-mobility framework will help govern the deployment of new and emerging modes of mobility including shared e-scooters and e-bikes by private businesses.
In late 2021, the city had been contacted by a number of private shared e-scooter companies requesting access to the city for expanding their market of e-scooters. That triggered an assessment by city administration to look at existing policies and bylaws currently in regulation that would govern, or perhaps be a gap in governing, micro-mobility within city limits.
“We want to ensure that the framework that we're creating today is future-proof to ensure that new modes of micro-mobility are being included as part of this framework.” says MacIsaac.
The micro-mobility pilot program will create an environment where the municipality can operate within the existing structure of bylaws and regulations in place, while also maintaining an understanding that there will be changes and adjustments made throughout the program taking into account the experiences and feedback gained.
MacIsaac presented Airdrie City Council with four alternatives regarding micro-mobility:
Council chooses to amend the Traffic Bylaw and the Business Licensing Bylaw to permit micro-mobility and shared micro-mobility. The timeline to implement this alternative would include the administration returning back to Council with the amendments to the two bylaws, which would take an estimated six to eight weeks. This provides the ability for private providers to deploy their assets in the community by late spring or early summer, depending on Council meeting timelines.
Council chooses to amend the existing bylaws to include and address micro-mobility and shared micro-mobility. This alternative goes a little further than alternative number one in the sense that this means amending all bylaws, including the parks bylaw. This alternative requires a more wholesome review of all bylaws and Council would return to this subject in late 2022 or early 2023. This would potentially delay the deployment of shared micro-mobility until 2023.
Council chooses to remit all forms of micro-mobility, including shared micro-mobility, with no changes to bylaws or licensing requirements. Effectively, this implements a system whereby Airdrie would not be governing micro-mobility outside of what may already be included in the bylaws today. This would further expedite the deployment.
Council leaves this subject, deciding not to allow micro-mobility in the city.
It was recommended that Council endorse alternative number one, which would lead to the amendment of specific bylaws to permit micro-mobility, and shared micro-mobility, as a two-year pilot program. This would launch in the spring of 2022.
After many questions, Airdrie City Council decided to endorse the recommendation, ultimately choosing alternative number one.
To see more information about micro-mobility, see the info brief.
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