Being tossed into the lake was just one challenge faced by Kelowna’s Ogo Scooters | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Being tossed into the lake was just one challenge faced by Kelowna’s Ogo Scooters

Tomy Thisdale helped set up the 25 Ogo e-scooters on July 12, 2019.
September 04, 2019 - 5:00 PM

KELOWNA - With the passing of summer, the ridership for Canada’s first e-scooter rideshare rental business has dropped off dramatically in Kelowna.

“I see a change in traffic flow down here today, as opposed to any regular Monday and Tuesday,” Chris Szydloski, co-owner of Kelowna-based Ogo Scooters told iNFOnews.ca from the waterfront today, Sept. 4. “Still, there’s a lot of people really enjoying the scooters.”

He launched his business on July 12 and got up to 60 scooters operating. That was about the right number in the busy summer months, especially since they were geofenced to a narrow area around the busiest part of downtown.

Still, he had trouble being able to hire enough people to always pick them up in a timely fashion in order to avoid “scooter litter.”

There were other, expensive growing pains.

He had five “lake scooters” – that is, five scooters that were left by their riders and, he suspects, thrown by vandals into Okanagan Lake.

He also bought two helmets for each scooter – so 120 helmets at $40 to $60 each.

“Within two weeks, we had no helmets left,” he said.

The helmets had to be left where the scooters were dropped off so they were easily open to theft. Szydloski welcomes any suggestions on keeping them safe, and clean. After all, when it’s above 30 C and a scooter is rented by multiple people a day, helmets are not the easiest things to pass on to another rider.

Despite the smaller crowds, the service will keep operating into the fall, as long as weather permits, Szydloski said.

Ogo was one of three companies issued permits by the City of Kelowna but the only one to operate.

Next year, it’s expected that the province will change the rules on where the scooters can be ridden. Right now, they can only go on designated pathways. In Kelowna that, essentially, means along the waterfront from downtown to Kelowna General Hospital and along the Rail Trail.


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