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16-and-up rules stick for Vernon’s e-scooter fleet

City staff investigation finds another age reduction not allowed in provincial pilot project
Neuron Mobility unveiled its fleet of 250 e-scooters July 29, 2021, in the 2900 Plaza downtown. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)

Vernon’s new scooter fleet will remain available only for those over the age of 16, a city staff report states.

City council asked staff in the Oct. 12 meeting if the scooters operated by Neuron Mobility could be made available for those ages 12 and up, but the investigation found that’s not possible.

The company lowered its minimum rider age from 18 to 16 on Oct. 1, following a request from the City of Vernon, aligning the age requirements with provincial regulations.

“We are pleased to expand the availability of this service to help people get to where they need to go in a safe, convenient and environmentally friendly way,” Neuron said in a statement to the Morning Star.

But after the city asked about further reducing the age requirement, city staff said it’s not possible.

“The provincial pilot project regulations state that ‘a person who is under 16 years of age is not to operate an electric kick scooter on a highway,’” the report to council reads.

Since the pilot scooter program was rolled out in Vernon July 20, 2021, it has been widely used across the city. The 250 orange scooters will remain around town until the snow flies.

“In terms of plans for the winter, any decision to remove e-scooters will be weather-dependent and made in collaboration with the city,” Neuron said.

- with Jennifer Smith files

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