Doctoral candidate seeking participants for e-scooter study

E-scooter study needs help

Have you got something to say about Kelowna's e-scooters?

A doctoral candidate at Royal Roads University is conducting a study on e-scooter adoption, and she's looking for participants for the research this spring.

“I am studying e-scooter adoption, with an aim to help municipalities and micromobility providers better understand what drives e-scooter use and ultimately be able to better implement transportation and mobility solutions in urban centres,” said Karly Nygaard-Petersen.

As Kelowna has an established e-scooter program in the city, which took off last spring, Nygaard-Petersen is focusing her research on the city.

Participants in the study will need to complete an hour-long interview over the phone or Zoom, in addition to keeping a seven-day transit diary with photos and videos. Participants will also have a ride-along with an interviewer.

Those eligible will need to be 18 or older, live, work and scoot in the Kelowna area, and have access to a smartphone. Participants will receive a $50 gift card for taking part. Those interested can sign up here.

After running a pilot program in 2019 and 2020, the e-scooters were a controversial addition to Kelowna's downtown core last summer. Kelowna General Hospital's chief of orthopaedic surgery Dr. Steven Krywulak called the scooters “fracture machines” last May and Coun. Brad Sieben said the rollout of the scooters was “poorly planned.”

But a final report to council showed just 51 injuries caused by e-scooter incidents were reported between January and August 2021, a rate of 25 per 100,000 trips.

Council extended the e-scooter program last November and after removing scooters from the streets through a snowy December, two companies relaunched their fleets in January of this year.

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