The City of Vernon’s deal with Neuron Mobility for e-scooters and e-bikes continues to roll merrily along.
The city is extending the e-scooter and e-bike sharing contract with Neuron Mobility to April 2024, to coincide with the end of the Province of British Columbia’s Electric Kick Scooter Pilot Program. The current contract is set to expire in April 2023, but due to the program’s success, council has endorsed extending the contract for another year.
“Vernon residents have embraced the e-scooter and e-bike sharing program since its launch in 2021, and it is helping to change how people navigate the city,” said Mayor Victor Cumming. “Many Vernon riders use e-scooters to commute during the week. This makes our city unique from other places that Neuron Mobility operates, where most rides are being taken over the weekend.”
Data collected through Neuron Mobility’s data tracking app indicates that since the program launched in 2021, riders have travelled over 400,000 kilometres within Vernon, saving an estimated 25 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. Between March and August 2022, more than 26,000 riders signed up with Neuron Mobility.
“E-scooters and e-bikes are becoming a functional, reliable and economical form of transportation in Vernon,” said Anne Huisken, Vernon’s active transportation coordinator. “The data collected by Neuron Mobility supports the goals in the city’s Master Transportation Plan and Climate Action Plan to reduce single-occupancy vehicle use to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create healthier communities, and extend the life of our infrastructure.”
Anyone who rides an electric kick scooter is encouraged to brush up on the rules, ride safely, and be extra courteous toward others. Helmet use is required by the Motor Vehicle Act and the city’s Traffic Bylaw #5600.
The lack of helmet use and the age of riders were among the concerns delivered by council to Christopher Carroll, Vernon operations manager for Neuron Mobility who provided council an overview of the company’s operations over the past year at the regular meeting of council Monday, Sept. 26.
Carroll said the company is also in discussions with the District of Coldstream about potentially expanding the program to the municipality.
This story was updated Wednesday, Sept. 28, at 12:15 p.m.