Calgary launches online e-scooter survey as pilot wraps up

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Calgary launches e-scooter survey as pilot wraps
The City of Calgary has launched an online survey asking citizens for their feedback on the shared electric scooter program as it comes to a close in late October. Sarah Offin has details. – Sep 16, 2020

After a successful launch in Calgary in the summer of 2019, the city’s shared electric scooter pilot program is set to end in late October.

As the pilot comes to a close, the city has launched a public survey looking into the program.

The online survey launched on Tuesday asks citizens for feedback on things like fleet size, where to ride, user behaviour, the shared e-scooter operators and reasons for using or not using a shared e-scooter to travel.

The city says the survey will be used to inform the future of e-scooters in Calgary.

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“Whether you’ve ridden a scooter or not, we want to hear your thoughts,” transportation planning strategist Andrew Sedor said.

The information gathered in the survey will be part of the report going to council on Dec. 16, aimed at helping to determine whether e-scooters will be returning to Calgary streets and pathways, and if so, what that will look like.

Sedor said the city was blown away with how many people took to the scooters in the time they’ve been in the city.

To date, he said there have been 1.7 million trips on both the scooters and e-bikes, though the bikes weren’t nearly as popular — only accounting for about 10 per cent of those trips.

“We’re able to actually calculate the length people travelled, so it’s 85 times to the moon and back that Calgarians have used e-scooters,” he said. “And they’ve ridden them for a total of 42 years if you compile the time.”

In the past year, since more rules and guidelines were added to the e-scooter bylaw after the mid-pilot report, 33 bylaw tickets have been issued to riders. The individual companies also handed out 98 tickets for improper parking.

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Sedor said the city also pulled a surprising number of scooters from the rivers this year, but said the cost of that is the responsibility of the companies, rather than the city.

Sedor said as part of this study, the city is also participating in Canada’s first shared e-scooter study that looks at injuries, in partnership with the University of Calgary Cummings School of Medicine and Alberta Health Services.

The study will look at the number of scooter-related injuries, who is being injured and how. Sedor said up-to-date numbers on injuries and scooter-pedestrian collisions are expected next month.

The city’s two-year dockless bike-share pilot was unanimously approved by council in July 2018, but shared e-scooters weren’t added to the pilot in July 2019.

As of Sept. 16, there were 2,500 scooters available to Calgarians, which is up from last year when 1,500 scooters were on the roads.

Sedor said the formal date for pulling the scooters off the roads for the winter is Oct. 31, however, if wintry weather hits the city before then, they may be taken away before that date.

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