Vernon e-bike and e-scooter pilot program extension wanted due to popularity | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Vernon e-bike and e-scooter pilot program extension wanted due to popularity

FILE PHOTO - Two people are seen riding e-scooters in Vernon in this undated photo.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Neuron Mobility

A pilot program that made e-scooters and e-bikes accessible to Vernon residents is proving the modes of transportation are popular.

An extension of the Provincial Electric Kick Scooter Pilot Program is on the table for city council.

Between March and August of this year, more than 26,000 riders signed up with the fleet company, Neuron Mobility and more than 170,000 rides were taken on the electric modes of transportation.

Since the program launched in 2021, riders have travelled more than 390,000 kilometres within the operating area saving 25 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.

READ MORE: Vernon’s e-scooter program launched today

Neuron Mobility's contract is set to expire on April 1, 2023, but as per the contract, the city has the ability to renew the program for the remainder of the provincial pilot program period, which ends April 5, 2023.

Staff are recommending council instruct administration to extend the e-scooter and e-bike sharing contract to April 5, 2024 in a staff report going to council Monday, Sept. 26.

Data collected by Neuron Mobility shows half of riders are using the electric transportation to commute with patterns staying fairly consistent throughout the week.

A user survey in 2021 indicates 40% of rides would have been taken by car if the program was unavailable, and 53% of riders find it to be an affordable mode of transportation.

Data on e-scooter-related injury rates is limited but data available from Neuron Mobility and RCMP indicates that incident rates are lower compared to the global average of eight to 25 injuries per 100,000 trips.

Common complaints include parking, helmet compliance, and double-riding on scooters. Riders are required to follow the City's bylaws and the Motor Vehicle Act.

READ MORE: Vernon to add e-bikes alongside e-scooters next year

Neuron Mobility e-scooter and e-bike data to date indicates that the e-scooters/e-bikes have become a functional, reliable, and economical form of alternative transportation in Vernon.

Ridership data supports the goals of the City's Master Transportation Plan and Climate Action Plan to reduce single occupancy vehicle use and transition to low emission forms of transportation.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Ainslie or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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