Vernon’s first electric scooter season has come to a close, and the results of a rider survey show the pilot project has been a boon for the local economy.
Neuron Mobility rolled out its e-scooters in late July in a partnership with the city to provide a carbon-neutral commuting alternative to residents.
Neuron has released the results of a survey it conducted over the course of its first season in town, and says the results highlight the positive impact the e-scooters have had on the community.
The survey found that 59 per cent of riders made purchases from local businesses during their trips, while also exploring the city.
The survey also points to the environmental benefits of using e-scooters, with 40 per cent of all trips replacing car journeys.
Sixty per cent of riders used the e-scooters to visit restaurants, cafes and to explore the city, and nearly one fifth (19 per cent) of trips would not have happened at all if the scooters were not available.
In all, riders in Vernon travelled 160,000 kilometres in the city this season, saving 10 tonnes of C02 emissions, according to Neuron.
“Vernon residents and visitors have embraced electric kick scooters, with a limited number of issues, as a convenient and sustainable way to get around our community,” said Mayor Victor Cumming. “The City of Vernon is thrilled to see that 40 per cent of electric scooter trips replaced trips by car. This demonstrates how effective active transportation modes, such as electric kick scooters, are in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and helping our city reach our Climate Action Plan goal of net zero emissions by 2050.”
Trip data revealed that the most popular start and destinations throughout the season included the downtown core, north Vernon, East Hill, La Carraia Gelateria Cafe, the Walmart bus station and the 48th Avenue/29th Street station.
More than half of survey respondents used e-scooters to commute to work, followed by getting errands done (49 per cent) and travelling to appointments (22 per cent). Eighty-one per cent of respondents said commuting by e-scooter was more fun and enjoyable, 63 per cent said it was a faster way to get around, 53 per cent liked that it was environmentally friendly and 53 per cent found the scooters to be a more affordable mode of transportation.
Overall, the vast majority of riders (93 per cent) believe the e-scooters have had a positive impact on the community. Peter Kaz with the Downtown Vernon Association agrees.
“We have seen the Neuron e-scooters being utilized throughout Downtown Vernon, since the program’s inception. Many of our businesses and services have enjoyed more traffic via these environmentally friendly forms of transportation. Exploring our area has become easier for a newer demographic,” Kaz said.
“It’s been extremely exciting to see how Vernon residents and visitors have embraced Neuron Mobility’s e-scooters to shop, commute or explore the community. We are excited to see Neuron’s plans roll out for 2022 and the increased benefits the e-scooter network will provide Vernon and the economy,” said Dan Proulx, general manager of the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce.