The second season of e-scooters officially began in Red Deer on Wednesday. The pilot project proved a big success last year with more than 100,000 trips logged. (Advocate file photo)

E-scooters return to Red Deer paths

Ridership age reduced to 16 from 18 this year

Red Deer’s second E-scooter season has officially begun.

Last July, the city launched the first season of a two-year pilot project for e-scooters. They proved to be a big hit with local riders until the season ended on Oct. 31.

Last year there were 109,245 e-scooter riders, and 36,707 total unique rider accounts on the 1,750 scooters available from a number of companies. The average rider travelled 3.5 km and the average ride time was 22 minutes.

After reviewing last year’s experience, city council recently voted to lower the ridership age to 16 from 18. Council considered making helmet use mandatory but opted not to go that route.

Neuron Mobility was among the companies to tap into Red Deer’s market last year and is looking forward to being back on local paths.

Neuron’s statistics show 81 per cent of riders, who made 54,000 trips, used e-scooters to visit local restaurants, cafés or to explore the city. Nearly six in 10 survey respondents said they made a purchase during their most recent trip. Nearly four in 10 said their e-scooter ride replaced a vehicle trip, which meant 12 tonnes of greenhouse gases were eliminated last season, Neuron estimates.

Among the most popular destinations were: Capstone, Great Chief Park, Kiwanis Picnic Park, Bower Place, Heritage Ranch and Collicutt Centre. Transit terminals, Red Deer Polytechnic and the hospital were also on the list.

Red Deer Mayor Ken Johnston was quoted in a news release from Neuron as saying local residents said the scooters were fun and the program was a success.

“Not only did they add to the quality of life of our residents, but they boosted our local and downtown economy. We are thankful to the citizens who embraced this new program and are excited to bring them back this summer.”

The City of Red Deer says five companies will offer e-scooters in the city this season including: Neuron, Bird Canada, Roll Scooters, Spin Mobility and Lime Technology Inc.

E-scooters have a maximum speed of 20 km/h, which is reduced to five to 10 km/h in some high-traffic areas. They can only be ridden on sidewalks and paved trails, not on roads or on bike lanes. For more information go to reddeer.ca.

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