Everything You Need To Know About Scooters In Calgary
Electric scooters were first introduced to Calgary in the summer of 2019 through a city run pilot program to see how scooter ride sharing would g For a few dollars people could use scooters to quickly move around the downtown core and surrounding area, within the overall GPS controlled scooter ‘zone’. The scooters are removed when the snow starts, then reintroduced in the late spring/early summer. In 2020 Roll Scooters joined the game, also deploying their scooters throughout the downtown core. All 3 companies do the same thing and have similar equipment, cost about the same, function the same, but are they the same? This guide will break that down for you. Below we list all of the details for each of the scooter companies operating in Calgary.
Please make sure you wear a helmet when operating an electric scooter, and follow all of the rules and laws. Never ride when drinking or under the effects of medication, cannabis, or anything else.
What Are Electric Scooters?
Also called e-scooters, right now on Calgary streets, sidewalks, on corners and elsewhere are hundreds of electronic scooters that people can rent, for a pay-per-minute fee. You just stand on it and it’ll take you where you need to go, no pedaling or pushing required. These electric scooters are battery powered (which you can earn $$$ for charging, more on that here) and can go over 20km/h! Because everything is electronic, so you’ll need to download their app and add your credit card information first before you can start using them. No cash, no coins. It’s hassle free and these scooters will make sightseeing and other similar activities so much more fun.
They’re ‘dock-less’, in that there is nowhere to return them to. You use them to get to your destination, and then just leave them there (so long as you follow the rules). These scooters have been available in many other cities around the world for quite some time. They’re GPS tracked, built solid and should last a long time if used properly and not thrown in the damn river.
They each have a throttle button on the right handlebar, that will make you drive forward, and a brake on the left, which will make you stop. Couldn’t be simpler.
Calgary Scooter Companies
There are three companies operating electric scooters in Calgary, Bird, Lime and Roll.
- Lime – https://www.li.me
- Instagram @lime
- Twitter @limebike
- Facebook @limebike
Cost: Unlock $1.15 / $0.35 CAD per minute
Use our referral code RE4IXIY for a free unlock!
- Bird – https://www.bird.co
- Instagram @bird
- Twitter @BirdRide
- Facebook @bird
Cost: Unlock $1.15 / $0.35 CAD per minute
Use our referral code GWFUWC for a free unlock!
- Roll – https://www.rollscooters.com
- Instagram @rollscooters
- Twitter @roll_scooters
- Facebook @rollscooters
Cost: Unlock $1 / $0.35 CAD per minute
Use our referral code KMQXZDL for a free unlock!
How To Use An Electric Scooter
Make sure you have the latest version of the app installed. Wear a helmet at all times when riding a scooter.
- Find a scooter, scan the QR code to unlock it
- Give it a push, engage the throttle located on the handle bar
- Ride baby ride!
- When you reach your destination just park the scooter safely and end the ride within the app
- You will be required to take a picture of where you parked the scooter
Using an electronic payment method such as debit, bank transfer, Google Pay, Apple Pay or a credit card, you’ll make deposits into your account, similar to loading a gift card up with money. If you deposit $50 into your account, each time you unlock and ride a scooter the cost will be deducted from your account balance. Each scooter company charges an unlock fee each time you want to use a scooter, and a rate per minute while riding.
- Bird Payment Methods
- Lime Pricing and Payments
- Roll Payment Related Questions
Find all of the information about scooter fines on the City of Calgary website (PDF)
- $400 fine for operating a shared e-scooter in a reckless manner.
- $400 fine for colliding with another user of the sidewalk or street.
- $75 fine for carrying a passenger on a shared e-scooter.
- Before using a scooter, check it over for damage or issues
- Even though you aren’t required to by law, wear a helmet
- Go slowly through crosswalks
- Just like when in a vehicle, always be aware of your surroundings at all times
- Ride in the bike lanes instead of on the sidewalk whenever possible
- Only one rider per vehicle
- Resist the urge to stunt ride
- Don’t ride one-handed! No holding a phone or coffee and scootering.
- Do not use headphones, pay attention to traffic around you
- Decelerate when going downhill
- Watch out for objects like rocks, glass or potholes
- Don’t ride in the rain
- Stay alert and stay safe
- To ride a scooter you must be 18 or older
- No riding on the road
- You can ride on sidewalks, bicycle lanes, or pathways
- Helmets are not required by law but they are strongly encouraged
Slow Speed Zones
In 2020 slow speed zones were created in areas that have a lot of people and congestion, limiting how fast scooters can go for safety purposes. Scooter speed has been reduced to 15 km/h, down from a max. of 20 km/h within these areas.
- Along 4 Street SW in Mission
- Along 9 Avenue SE in Inglewood
- Along Stephen Avenue
- Along 10 Street N.W.
- Along Kensington Road
- No parking them within/on c-train platforms, bus terminals, MAX stations or any other public transit space, unless designated.
- No parking them in loading zones, accessible parking zones, wheelchair ramps, bike ramps, curb ramps.
- No parking them on bridges or center median islands.
- No parking them within 1.5 meters of a garage or drive way.
- No parking them within access to street furniture, such as benches.
- No parking them within shrub beds or within 0.5 meters of trees.
- Lime scooters: parking is not currently authorized on university campuses, Stampede grounds, East Village (CMLC), the airport, malls or on any other private property.
Share and Go Parking Zones
In 2020 the City of Calgary introduced Share and Go Parking Zones specifically for e-scooters to be parked/located in. They’re mostly located in places that were designated for Car2go, which ceased operations in Calgary in 2019.
List of Share and Go Parking Zones (PDF)
- 12 Avenue SW and 10 Street SW
- 12 Avenue SW and 9 Street SW
- 12 Avenue SW and 8 Street SW
- 12 Avenue SW and 6 Street SW
- 12 Avenue SW and 2 Street SW
- 12 Avenue SW and Centre ST S
- 12 Avenue SW and 1 Street SE
- 12 Avenue SE and 3 Street SE
- 15 Avenue and 7 Street SW
- 15 Avenue and 5 Street SW
- 8 Avenue SW and 4 Street SW
- 12 Avenue SE and 8 Street SE
- 12 Street SW Bridge and River Path
- Elbow River Traverse and 8 Street SE
- Riverwalk, west of Simmons Building
- Bow River Cycle Path and 5 Street SW
- Bow River Cycle Path and 6 Street SW
- Riverwalk, south of The Peace Bridge
- Memorial Drive and 10 Street SW
- Riverfront Avenue and 2 Street SW
COVID19 and Scooters
From The City of Calgary regarding COVID19 and scooter use.
It’s important to note that the shared e-scooters are NOT cleaned after every use, when riding a shared scooter, each rider needs to follow the following safety guidelines below:
- Please wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after using a shared-e-scooter. Use hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available.
- Wipe down the shared scooter with a pre-moistened disinfectant wipe before and after use of a shared e-scooter. Please bring your own wipes.
- Avoid touching your face when using a shared e-scooter.
- Physical distancing must be maintained when riding. When riding alone or with other people you are still required to maintain at least 2 meters (the length of a bicycle) between yourself and anyone else. Only one rider at a time is permitted (no ‘doubling’)
- While riding a scooter, be safe, slow down, and leave space when passing other people; always give each other 2 meters of space.
Each scooter company has a clearly defined scooter zone map of where you can and can’t ride in Calgary. At present time the scooters are only available within the downtown core and surrounding areas, with a few other areas disabled too, such as along 7th Avenue SW (where the c-train runs). If you attempt to ride a scooter outside of their defined zones, you won’t be able to ‘end’ your ride, and the speed will be reduced. Ride back into the zone and you’re good.
Earn Money By Charging Scooters (Juicing)
You can earn money by finding scooters with low batteries, bringing them home, charging them up overnight then releasing them back into the wild (they’ll show you where to drop them off in the app). Doing this is referred to as being a ‘juicer‘. In order to do it you’ll need to sign up and get approved get their charge cables sent by mail. After you’ve signed up they’ll send you some chargers, which you need to pay for. You can find more chargers on Kijiji and the Facebook marketplace.
Note: Roll Scooters have employees that collect and charge their own scooters, so they do not have a charger/juicer program.
How It Works
- At the end of the day search out and collect low battery scooters
- Bring them home
- Charge them up overnight
- Drop them off the next morning
How much money can you make charging scooters?
Right now you’ll make about $5 per charge. There are several factors involved in just how much money you can make though.
- Location! If you live downtown, it’ll be much easier to find, collect and charge the scooters vs living way in the deep south.
- Are you driving? Try to harvest several scooters at the same time.
- How many other people charging scooters are in the area? Maybe try another area.
Limes website says “Juicers can earn up to $30+ per hour and $100+ per night collecting, charging and redistributing Lime-S”. In addition there are lots of YouTube videos going into detail just how much money you can make charging scooters.
Get A Free Helmet!
Both companies Lime and Bird offer free helmets to customers. See their sites for all the details, but you just pay shipping. Around $10.
Buy Your Own Electric Scooter
Amazon sells all kinds of scooter models, with a huge variety of pricing. Spend some time researching what you might end up buying.
Segway Ninebot MAX Electric Kick Scooter, Up to 40.4 Miles Long-Range Battery, Max Speed 18.6 MPH, Foldable and Portable, Dark Grey
9 used & new available from $749.99
Scooters For Kids
Razor Power Core E90 Electric Scooter Toy, Green
10 used & new available from $139.80
I think these electric scooters make an excellent addition to Calgary, especially in the downtown core. Tourists and Calgarians both will now be able to zip all over the place around downtown, quickly, for an affordable price, AND while having fun doing it. A great addition to the transportation options in Calgary.
4 thoughts on “User Guide To Lime, Bird & Roll Scooters in Calgary”
Neither company is actually offering free helmets in Canada currently. The Bird app will only ship to US or Netherlands addresses.
+1 on Lee’s comment. I downloaded the Bird app to try and rent one of their scooters only to find out that every one I came across was unavailable due to low battery. This after ‘loading’ a $10 balance onto the app. I must say that my complaint was handled well though and they promptly refunded my money.
Also, Lime has added a “Reserve” feature to their app. From my short experience it appears that this will become a necessary additional cost (same as rental / min) if you hope to find an available scooter without wasting too much of your time. Yesterday I walked to 3 scooters, all more than a block from the last, only to be told “Sorry, this scooter is reserved” when I scanned the QR Code. You’d think that Lime would not indicate a scooter as available if it is reserved.
Great article, I noticed bird lacks an actual screen so it’s limited to beeping at you in a variety of ways. Might be worthwhile to reach out to them and add a section on how to interpret what the bird scooters are trying to tell you?
Ooh good idea! I’ll look into that, ty.