By Al Beeber - Lethbridge Herald on February 3, 2024.
City council will be considering a recommendation from its Assets and Infrastructure Standing Policy committee that micro-mobility services continue in Lethbridge.
The SPC on Thursday heard an update on the two-year pilot project from transportation engineer Adam St. Amant.
The SPC consists of chair deputy mayor Mark Campbell, vice-chair Nick Paladino, Jeff Carlson and Ryan Parker.
The project with Neuron launched April 8, 2022 with e-scooters and e-bikes. At a cost of $1.15 to unlock and 35 cents to ride, the scooters and bikes quickly became popular with city users, the scooters which can be used on roads, multi-use pathways and sidewalks. E-bikes are limited to roads and pathways.
The first year started with a small service area with limited river valley access added.
A report by St. Amant showed that in the first year, riders took 167,493 trips, travelling a total of 430,400 kilometres. There were 388 units typically deployed in 2022 and 35,747 kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions were avoided.
There were, however, 40 incidents of which nine required a hospital visit. Eight incidents were collisions with motor vehicles while one was a collision with another micro-mobility unit.
St. Amant’s report stated that early issues with intoxicated riders was resolved.
In that first year, 131 interactions with 311 were held related to the scooters and bikes with more than 40 redirected to Neuron’s customer service while five were directed to City or police staff.
In that first year, there were 1,952 customer contacts directly to Neuron including 190 complaints. Of those 163 for for bad parking and 10 for unsafe riding.
The second year of the program saw access expanded in the river valley and in the industrial area of north Lethbridge.
Twenty per cent fewer trips were taken in 2023 – 119,867 – and fewer kilometres travelled (294,742), according to data compiled to the end of October.
St. Amant attributed this to the program being a novelty in the first year. Last year, 379 units were typically deployed. The number of incidents dropped to 20 with eight requiring a hospital visit. Six incidents were collisions with vehicles.
311 last year had 52 interactions related to Neuron units. There were 911 customer service contacts with Neuron, the majority (111) being due to bad parking.
St. Amant said feedback about the program has been mostly positive but concerns remain about users riding the devices on sidewalks and pathways. Those concerns revolve around speed differential, collisions at alleys and pedestrian complaints.