New data from one of the companies that offered e-scooter service in Calgary shows more people hopped on board the devices for short trips around the city as the pilot program progressed.
Now that the city's e-scooter pilot program is over, Bird Canada released more details about how often Calgarians used the service. The company says before the scooters were parked this year, people were really warming up to the idea.
"From getting groceries to scooting to a business meeting across town, this year e-scooters were a preferred mode of transport for many, with an average e-scooter trip of 2km in 2020, twice as long as trips taken in 2019," the company said in a release.
It also said that there were approximately 70,000 unique Bird riders in the city, but frequent users, who used the scooters at least five times a week, made up about 30 per cent of the trips.
In 2020, the company also introduced a safety program called the Safe Streets Patrol to ensure all riders were using the scooters properly and parking them where they should be.
"Bird Canada handed out 450 helmets to riders this year," the company says. "(We) also hosted several Safe Streets educational events to ensure Calgarians rode responsibly."
Calgary's e-scooter pilot wrapped up last month and officials encouraged residents to share feedback on the program via an online survey.
While those results are expected to be presented at a council meeting in December, one of the major issues that plagued another e-scooter company, ROLL, had to do with theft and vandalism of e-scooters.
The Calgary Police Service said it responded to multiple reports of ROLL scooters, which retail at about $1,000 each, being stolen.
Alberta Health Services also said there were more than 700 emergency room visits because of incidents involving the e-scooters between January and August 2020.
Since 2019, Bird says more than 500,000 trips have been made in Calgary, with more than 1 million kilometres travelled.