Bird Canada aims to bring e-scooters back to Windsor in 2022

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The CEO of Bird Canada is already looking ahead to 2022 and providing e-scooters and e-bikes for rent in Windsor.

Stewart Lyons is calling the first year in the city a great success, with Windsor leading Canada with average minutes per ride at over 20 minutes, compared to 15 minutes in most other cities in the country.

"We're in 7 or 8 markets in Canada now, cities that are bigger than Windsor and cities that are smaller than Windsor. Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa, which are a little bigger and then cities in Alberta that are a little smaller," he says. "The fact that people used it for so long in Windsor, longer than any city in Canada, really shows how much they embraced it."

The company has just ended its first season after launching the e-scooters on May 1, 2021 as part of a pilot project with the City of Windsor. 

It also introduced e-bikes during the year, making Windsor just the second city in North America after San Diego, California to get e-bikes available for rent.

In all, more than 29,000 total rides and almost 8,000 unique riders ended up using the e-scooters.

The current agreement between Bird Canada and the City runs through April 2022.

Once complete, City staff will share the pilot program results with City Council.

"Council seems to be very happy, the people seem to be very happy, all the BIA's that we worked with have been quite supportive," says Lyons. "We're pretty pumped to come back next year, there's mutual interest on both sides."

Lyons believes next year could even better as restrictions are lifted and the economy continues to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Don't forget we didn't have the casino {Caesars Windsor} going, most of the waterfront stuff wasn't going, the border was closed for most of this year. The casino didn't get going until the end and not to mention, we've now reached an arrangement with the University of Windsor to have scooters on campus, that only came in the tail end," he says.

If both sides agree that the program is worth bringing back, Lyons hopes to have the e-scooters and e-bikes back on the streets of Windsor by the spring.