With the price of owning a vehicle in Halifax being unattainable for many people, one of our Engagement Officers at Greenschools has been exploring a cheaper and more sustainable method of transportation. After years of bussing, biking, driving, and walking around Halifax, Sandford has been using an electric scooter for day-to-day commuting. Sandford has been “scooting” (while incorrect, it’s more fun to say than scootering) for about 2 months, and has put roughly 500km on his device!
Below Sandford shares the pros and cons of commuting with an electric scooter in Halifax.
- It’s cheaper than a car! Mine cost me about $1000 at Costco and I don’t have to pay for gas or bus tickets anymore.
- It’s energy efficient as it releases fewer carbon emissions than a bigger vehicle.
- It’s fun! Yes, you read that right! This thing is a blast to ride around on. It goes 30km/h and gives a sensation similar to longboarding. The handlebars also make it much easier to learn!
- Avoiding traffic. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as passing all the cars backed up on the Macdonald Bridge on the way home from work.
- It’s super convenient. My previously 30-minute walk to the climbing gym is now under 10 minutes! And I can fold up the scooter to charge while I climb.
- Rain & snow: While I own a good set of rain gear and do use the scooter in the rain, the snow and ice in the coming months may cause it to be more difficult to use.
- Storage space. If you can’t fit it in your backpack, it stays at home. That being said, I did bring home a pizza by balancing it on the deck once.
- A lack of infrastructure. Electric scooters are in a weird place right now, technically they are only allowed on sidewalks, though the road is often safer for everyone – especially if there is a bike lane. I often have to get off and walk because there is no bike lane and there are too many pedestrians on the sidewalk to safely ride. In my experience, Dartmouth has a lot more opportunities for me to scoot, than the Halifax side.
While it does have its limitations, using an electric scooter for commuting in Halifax has been an overwhelmingly positive experience so far. This winter, I plan on balancing the scooter with a car share subscription! Hopefully, that experience will be as positive as this one.
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