State of the Industry: Shared Micromobility in Canada

In February, I had the opportunity to facilitate a virtual roundtable discussion about shared micromobility in Canada. The discussion was hosted by the North American Bikeshare & Scootershare Association (NABSA), and included representatives from the City of Kelowna, Hamilton Bike Share, Bike Share Toronto, the Canadian Urban Transit Association and TransForm Lab.

Canada was home to some of the earliest shared micromobility systems in North America, including Montreal's bike share system, which launched in 2009. Despite the early start, a recent NABSA report highlighted just seven Canadian jurisdictions with shared micromobility in place in 2020. Many Canadian communities are at various stages of considering shared micromobility but face barriers, including limited budgets, legislation that does not permit e-scooters on public roads, and concerns about winter maintenance.

Our roundtable discussion looked at some of these barriers, and addressed three key themes emerging in their communities, organizations, and across Canada:

  • Reliable government funding is vital for the growth and sustainability of Canada's shared micromobility systems
  • More safe, dedicated infrastructure for shared micromobility riders and active transportation modes in general, is needed
  • Shared micromobility is becoming recognized as a necessary component of public transportation networks

While shared micromobility is already providing millions of Canadians with fun, fast, easy, and affordable mobility options, the sector has the potential to support millions more trips as systems expand and grow into new communities. Unfortunately, shared micromobility was not mentioned in Canada's first National Active Transportation Strategy, and non-fixed infrastructure like bikes for bike share have been excluded from the $400 million Active Transportation Fund for the time being. NABSA is advocating to change this as Canadian stakeholders work hard to grow the sector and expand access.

A blog summary of the discussion is available on the NABSA website, along with a recording of the entire webinar.

Thank you to NABSA and all of our participants for the opportunity to facilitate this important conversation!

Webinar Recording