By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on January 9, 2024.
With the arrival of snow and low temperatures, Neuron Mobility E-scooters and E-bikes season has come to an end here, after what the company is calling a successful riding season that had a positive impact in Lethbridge.
Head of Corporate Affairs for Neuron Mobility Canada, Isaac Ransom spoke to the Herald on Monday about the end of the season, which concluded the same day.
“When we look at operations, there is a combination of factors. One is safety, which is first and foremost. If the weather doesn’t allow for safe riding we will always look at that as a reason to wrap-up operations for the year, and secondary to that as temperatures get colder the batteries won’t necessarily perform and there is a decrease in the reliability of the e-scooters and e-bikes,” said Ransom.
He said Lethbridge riders who have embraced Neuron’s e-scooter and e-bike service since launching in April 2022, have racked up more than 740,000 kilometres, with 52 per cent of all trips replacing a car journey, eliminating an estimated 60 tonnes of CO2 emissions in the city.
Ransom attributes this in part to the existing infrastructure within the city that allows riders to commute safely.
“Certainly the cycling infrastructure definitely helps with mobility throughout the city. People will feel safer and ensures they will have more room on the road for e-scooter riders to travel along, so having that infrastructure encourages people to get out of their vehicles and therefore reducing their carbon footprint,” said Ransom.
In a release shared with the Herald, Neuron states that since launching in April 2022, more than six in 10 e-scooter trips have been reported to result in a purchase at a local business, where riders are spending an average of $22 per trip, and each e-scooter contributes an estimated $6,300 to the local economy each year.
The release highlights Neuron’s expansion of its riding area in June 2023 to cover a larger boundary of Lethbridge’s trail system at Indian Battle Park, unlocking full access to the park’s paved trails and providing a convenient and environmentally friendly mode of transportation for locals and visitors to reach more of the city’s tourism and cultural attractions.
To this, Tourism Lethbridge CEO Erin Crane said their tourism industry partners are seeing the benefit from people moving around.
“We actually have a request in with Neuron to make sure that our facility here is stocked with both bikes and scooters on a regular basis, because we do get a lot of visitors that come in, park here and then use them to explore the city,” said Crane.
She said this is especially convenient for those visitors that arrive with big recreational vehicles that are hard to manoeuvre around the city.
“Sometimes that’s hard to get downtown or even to get over to Henderson Lake, so if they can park here and hop on a scooter, it’s just a quick little ride into those places. And not only that, but it’s a great way to experience the city,” said Crane.
Â She said when they talk about tourism, they attribute it to being the open door to much more economic impact, and that includes people who may be riding around on an e-bicycle or e-scooter, and they find a house or business for sale and think about moving into the city.
“I think the other key point is looking at our student population and how important it is for them to be able to explore the rest of the community, and we know that students do better when they’re attached to a community, and the community does better when students are attached to it. So, being able to highlight and get students you know moving around and exploring the city is really important,” said Crane.