Calgary e-scooter use soars in 2021

Calgarians sure love to zip around the city, taking the top spot for e-scooter use in the country according to Bird Canada.

The longest ride was also recorded in Calgary this year and it’s more than 20 times the national average.

The company said someone in Calgary rode one of its scooters 58 kilometres — the equivalent of travelling from Southcentre Mall to the airport and back. The ride was completed during a single trip with brief stops along the way.

“Calgary leads in the longest ride, the single longest ride almost 60 kilometre ride, it leads in total number of rides for each city, it’s our most popular city by far and longest serving city,” said Stewart Lyons, Bird Canada CEO.

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Along with the longest trip, Calgary had the highest total number of trips taken on its scooters, representing a 187 per cent increase over 2020.

Bird said the company saw 1.3 million trips taken across Canada in 2020 by 200,000 different users.

“Even in terms of ride length it’s been going up every year since 2019 which is interesting because 2019 was pre-pandemic obviously,” said Lyons.

“We think that’s because people looking for a more socially distant way to get around.”

The average length of a Bird e-scooter trip in Canada this year was 2.8 kilometres, up from two kilometres last year.

Read more: Bike-sharing could join e-scooters in Calgary in late spring

Bird is one of two e-scooter companies available for rent in Calgary this past summer season with Neuron Mobility being the other.

Neuron entered the market in May 2021 and the company said Calgary takes the top spot for the number of rides as well. Riders travelled 620,000 kilometres.

“The fact that we’re able to grow in so many markets so quickly is a good positive indicator of how enthusiastic people are for this mode of transportation and how the industry is going to continue to grow across the country,” said Isaac Ransom, head of government relations for Canada with Neuron Mobility.

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Ransom explained Calgary has its advantages with “good infrastructure and good regulations” adding that Calgarians are becoming familiar with e-scooters and said people are drawn to their brand that also provides helmets.

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“They look for our helmets, they look for the bright orange e-scooter, they look for the wider platform they look for the larger wheels all these things guarantee a more smooth ride and a safer ride and a lot of riders appreciate that.”

Neuron plans to add e-bikes next year as well.

E-scooters have been popular but safety has also been a concern.

Helmets are not mandatory but are encouraged, along with other safety protocols including not doubling up on a scooter.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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