First it was e-scooters in the city. Next it will be e-bikes.
Neuron Mobility, which launched an e-scooter pilot project in Vernon in 2021, announced at Vernon council Monday, Dec. 13, that it will add e-bikes to the Vernon fleet for the 2022 riding season.
“It will make Vernon one of the first cities to have both e-scooters and e-bikes in Canada,” said Isaac Ransom, Neuron’s head of government relations for Canada.
Neuron’s Canada general manager Ankush Karwal said there were 250 scooters that began with the project but that number was increased to 350 after consultation with city staff. The program could have expanded again near the end of the season but a change in the weather halted the program.
“Hopefully in May we can push the number of scooters up to 500 but we’re also cognizant that we will have e-bikes next season,” said Karwal. “But we are going to look at expanding.”
Ransom was presenting final numbers for 2021 on the e-scooter project to council and the how two-wheel devices were quite popular.
Ridership statistics show 13,400 users signed up with Neuron in Vernon and there were 67,000 trips taken since launch day, July 29.
The average trip distance is 2.7 kilometres and there were 1,400 three-day, weekly and monthly passes used in Vernon since launch.
The average rating on Neuron’s services is 4.6 out of five, with 16,500 users rating their Neuron ride as a 4 or 5.
Ransom said 40 per cent of all Neuron trips replaced a car trip, saving on carbon dioxide emissions; 93 per cent of users said Neuron created a positive impact for the city; and 53 per cent of users used e-scooters to commute.
“I think it’s a great program,” said Coun. Brian Quiring. “I see tons of people using them.”
Concerns were expressed by council over helmet use – or the lack of – by Neuron riders, and people riding tandem (double) on the scooters. Ransom said both issues will be addressed for 2022.
“Riders can expect continued focus on helmet safety in 2022, and ongoing riding rule education programs and events,” said Ransom.
The 2022 riding season is expected to launch in March (weather permitting).