E-scooters have rolled out for the third year in Vernon.
Neuron Mobility started its 2023 e-scooter riding season Wednesday, March 1. They first launched in the city in July 2021.
E-bikes will launch later this spring.
Neuron riders have travelled over 460,000 kilometres in Vernon and 40 per cent of trips replaced a car journey, Neuron said in a press release. Those trips avoided 29 tonnes of C02 emissions since the e-scooter program began.
Rental e-scooter rides injected an estimated $4.5 million into Vernon’s economy in 2022, the press release states. “Since launching in summer 2021, it has been great to see the enthusiasm residents and visitors have shown towards the e-scooter and e-bike program. Safe, sustainable transport drives local economic activity and we are proud to reintroduce our vehicles to Vernon’s transport mix,” said Ankush Karwal, head of marketing for Neuron Canada.
The bright orange scooters will be available throughout the year and into the fall and winter as weather permits.
Riders must be at least 16 and can book the e-scooters through Neuron’s app, which can be downloaded from the Apple app store or Google Play. Single trips cost $1.15 to unlock the scooter and then 39 cents per minute thereafter. Neuron passes are also available in three-day ($25) weekly ($39) and monthly ($99) options.
Vernon Mayor Victor Cumming said residents and visitors alike have enjoyed Neuron’s e-scooters and e-bikes over the past two riding seasons.
“It has been great to see the e-scooters/e-bikes offering a safe, convenient and sustainable mode of transport throughout our community as riders travel to and from work, find new places to explore, visit friends, get to activities, and support local businesses,” Cumming said. “We are very much looking forward to having Neuron’s bright orange fleet on our streets again.”
A Neuron report found that seven out of 10 e-scooter trips in Vernon result in a purchase, which the company says proves that the scooters are a boon for local business.
Twenty-one per cent of trips wouldn’t have happened if the e-scooters weren’t available, “meaning local businesses would have missed out on valuable sales,” the press release states.
According to the report, 98 per cent of riders surveyed in Vernon said Neuron has benefited the city and also improved mobility, air quality and congestion.
Most riders said they used the scooters for leisure and recreation (71 per cent) while many also made purposeful journeys like commuting to work or school (40 per cent) and running errands such as shopping (31 per cent).
“The Greater Vernon Chamber is excited to see Neuron return for another season in Vernon as the popularity of e-scooters and e-bicycles continues to increase among residents and visitors looking for alternatives to get around the community,” said Chamber general manager Dan Proulx.
To kickstart the new season, Neuron is educating riders on their local riding rules and safe parking guidelines. Through its interactive online ScootSafe Academy, riders who take part in incentivized quizzes, videos and games can earn free credits for future rides. The online riding school will also deliver training modules to those who have broken the rules. Neuron’s safety ambassadors will be out across the city in March to equip both new and existing riders with the confidence to ride an e-scooter.
Neruon scooters feature the world’s first app-controlled helmet lock that secures a safety helmet between trips. Wearing the helmet is mandatory, and Neuron awards a 50 cent credit to those who take a picture of themselves wearing the helmet before starting their trip.