Regina e-scooter rentals done for the season

A lone e-scooter sits in the snow in Regina this week. (Alexander Quon/CBC - image credit)
A lone e-scooter sits in the snow in Regina this week. (Alexander Quon/CBC - image credit)

Hundreds of e-scooters are being collected from Regina's sidewalks, back alleys and parks as companies wrap up their inaugural season of offering the scooters for rent in the city.

"In a few short months riders racked up over 160,000 kilometres of rides, which is pretty phenomenal when you think about that," said Isaac Ransom, head of corporate affairs for Neuron Mobility Canada.

"Given how short the season was it's really punching above its weight."

Two companies, Neuron Mobility and Bird, were chosen by the city to rent the e-scooters as part of a pilot project this year. Customers were able to use a credit card or phone to rent the scooters.

The scooters are allowed on roads with speed limits 50 kilometres or less, but not on sidewalks.

Riders also had to be 16 years of age and older and wear a helmet.

Phoenix Ramage said he used the scooters frequently throughout the past several months, sometimes instead of driving a car.

"Sometimes if I needed to go to a park or a local store I'd use it to get there."

Ramage said the system worked well, tracking and charging him for the time used on the scooter. His only complaint was that the scooters weren't always where they were supposed to be.

Ransom said Neuron does receive complaints from people thinking the scooters have been abandoned around the city, but that's how the program is supposed to work.

"In fact, it's just waiting for the next person to come along for the next ride."

Ransom said people can also scan the QR code located on each scooter, which allows them to report the device if they believe it's stolen or abandoned.

"We have a team that works 24/7 to make sure that scooters are picked up. There is technology in the scooter that allows us to detect if it has been tipped over and therefore we can respond to that when a notification comes up."

Ransom said the City of Regina, which did not respond to an interview request, has committed to allowing the scooters back next year.

For its part, the city held a "Be Heard" campaign to gather feedback on the e-scooter pilot project. It also created a frequently asked questions page related to the scooters.

According to its website, those responses will be collected and presented to city council in a report next year.

"The City of Regina has a goal to become a renewable, net zero city by 2050 and adding e-scooters as a transportation option is one way of helping to achieve this," the site says.