Red Deer e-scooter users rode about 74,000 kms in 2022 — almost twice around the world — and the average trip was the second longest in Canada at 3.87 kms, according to one scooter company.
Chris Schafer, Bird Canada’s vice-president of government affairs, said a number of factors could be at play when it comes to Red Deer’s average trip length but suspects the city’s extensive trail system has something to do with it.
“In smaller municipalities where there is less of a dense downtown core, there tends to be riding along trails or multi-use pathways that can be more leisurely orientated in terms of getting around the community, but also going further,” Schafer said.
E-scooters in larger cities are used mostly for errands or tasks in the downtown, he added.
Bird Canada data showed one Red Deer rider took more than 138 trips between April and October, and averaged more than one and-a-half trips a day every day of the season.
The city’s longest trip by one customer was 35 kms in a single ride.
“I can’t say what this particular rider was doing, but the scooter gives you that flexibility to go out and interact in your community in a different way than you can behind the wheel of a car,” Schafer said.
He said data shows e-scooters work really well in Red Deer. A survey conducted by Bird Canada between Nov. 1 and 9 showed 98 per cent of respondents felt that Bird Canada vehicles have had a positive impact on Red Deer.
“I really think residents are embracing the scooters as a reliable alternative mode of transportation that’s environmentally sustainable. We’re seeing that kind of uptick in other municipalities of similar size to Red Deer. We look forward to operations next year as well.”
Bird Canada just renewed its Red Deer business licence for 2023 for the final year of the city’s three-year, e-scooter pilot program.
Five companies offered e-scooters in the city during the 2022 season including: Neuron, Bird Canada, Roll Scooters, Spin Mobility and Lime Technology Inc.