Red Deer’s e-scooter experiment appears to have been successful, although there have been some bumps in the road.
Rolled out at the beginning of July as a three-year summer pilot project, the electric scooters can be seen all over the city. Six companies tested the Red Deer market and now have 1,700 available locally.
The scooters have generated a lot of positive reviews, said Amy Fengstad, city parking and licensing supervisor, on Tuesday.
“We have definitely had quite the variety of feedback. There have been a lot of positives. “We’ve seen a lot of positive feedback from the downtown business areas.”
From riders, the comments were generally around how fun they are.
However, not everyone has been pleased with the proliferation of scooters.
“We’ve also, on the other side, had complaints about parking, about people not being respectful in using them — going too fast, those types of complaints.
“It’s definitely been a balance of both positive and negative responses.”
Thoughtless parking has been among detractors’ biggest beefs. Some scooters have been left at crosswalks, or across sidewalks, leaving those in wheelchairs or with other mobility issues to manoeuvre around them.
“Fortunately, we’ve been able to respond quickly and get those out of the way,” she said.
As far as injuries go, data has not been collected from health authorities, but the city has not received any reports of serious injuries.
“Nobody’s reported anything specifically to us. They may have gone out to the companies, but I’ll get some of that data once we do our season-end report.”
While helmet use has been recommended for riders, it does not appear most are donning one. One company’s scooters come with a helmet and they report about 40 per cent of riders use it, Fengstad said.
Helmet use while using e-scooters is encouraged and riders are cautioned to not ride after drinking, to not take passengers and reminded riders must be 18 or older.
Scooters will be collected by their companies and taken off the road after Oct. 31.
“After that, it will be our first season review. So, we’ll collect some data from each of the individual scooter companies,” said Fengstad.
“Then we’ll send out another public survey to get some interested feedback that we haven’t already heard from the public on it as well.”
All the information collected will be compiled in a report that will go back to council before the 2022 season starts on March 15.