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BIRD SCOOTERS

Racine's use of Bird electric scooters by the numbers

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RACINE — Racinians like to scooter ... to scoot? enjoy scootering?

Merriam-Webster Dictionary doesn’t have a verb form of “to ride on a scooter,” but whatever it is, the activity was somewhat popular in Racine this year — although maybe not as popular as it has been elsewhere, especially after the novelty wore off.

102121-NWS-BIRDS (2)

Racine residents near Taylor Avenue pose on Bird scooters in this June file photo.

In May, the Racine City Council approved a one-year trial for a dockless electric scooter company, Bird, to place its scooters all over the city for locals to rent for short periods using a phone app.

As weather suitable for scootering (scooting?) leaves us for the year, here are some of the statistics for how popular Bird scooters were across 131 days (from June 3-Oct. 11) in the City of Racine this year, as provided by the city.

Total Rides:

  • 11,021

Average Rides Per Day:

  • 87

Unique Users:

  • 2,697

Average Trip Distance:

  • 2.3 miles

Total Distance Traveled:

  • 25,345.28 miles (that’s 444 miles longer than the circumference of the Earth)

Average total miles per day:

  • 198.01 miles

Average ride duration:

  • 24.5 minutes

CO2 Saved: 5.39 metric tons (motor vehicles on average produce about 0.9 pounds of CO2 per mile,

according to the Environmental Protection Agency

  • )

Regular commuters:

  • 268

Number of deployed scooters:

  • 45-50 available on average in the public right of way (the City Council had approved up to 100 scooters in the city at any one time)

Total rides in June:

  • 5,233

Total rides in July:

  • 3,376

Total rides in August:

  • 1,015 (according to Bird, the number of available scooters dropped that month)

Total rides in September:

  • 1,182

According to a report provided by the City of Racine: “Downtown Racine and the Lakefront were popular destinations for dockless scooter travel. Local destinations of leisure were popular stops for scooter share users, especially on weekend days ... Travel between Samuel Meyers Park to the south and the Racine Zoo to the north witnessed the most concentrated number of Bird Scooter rides.”

The future

Will the scooters be back next year? Maybe.

Trevor Jung

Jung

This data is to be presented directly to the Public Safety and Licensing Committee on Monday by the city’s new transit manager, Trevor Jung, who recently stepped down from the City Council to take on the new job.

He had advocated for the “e-scooters” during his time as an alderman.

After Monday’s meeting, new permanent or temporary ordinances could be written to allow Bird or other similar companies to operate in Racine.

Watch now:  Alderman Trevor Jung discusses the advantages of e-scooters

Milwaukee

In nearby Milwaukee, three different electric scooter companies were allowed to operate this year — Lime, Bird and Spin. Scooters in Milwaukee, a hub with a metro population more than eight times the population of Racine County, have been far more popular than in the Belle City.

From June through September, 432,794 electric scooter rides were logged in Milwaukee. That’s more than 39 times as many rides as there were logged in Racine across nearly the same timeframe.

That said, electric scooters were an already established mode of transportation in Milwaukee. They have been on the Cream City’s streets since 2019.

According to the City of Milwaukee, its 2021 electric scooter pilot study provided the following data:

June

  • Total rides: 139,045
  • Median trip time: 14 minutes
  • Median trip distance: 1 mile
  • Day with highest rides: 7,010 rides on June 19
  • City-reported complaints: 42
  • Number of complaints to companies: 230

July

  • Total rides: 158,662
  • Median trip time: 11 minutes
  • Median trip distance: 1 mile
  • Day with highest rides: 9,091 rides on July 20
  • City-reported complaints: 17
  • Number of complaints to companies: 237

August

  • Total rides: 70,558
  • Median trip time: 9 minutes
  • Median trip distance: 0.9 miles
  • Day with highest rides: 5,512 rides on Aug. 1
  • City-reported complaints: 23
  • Number of complaints to companies: 125
  • “On Aug. 3, new trip starts were prohibited in Zone 1 based on observations of sidewalk and street riding made by a consultant during a two-week period at the end of June through the beginning of July.”

September

  • Total rides: 64,529
  • Median trip time: 8 minutes
  • Median trip distance: 0.8 miles
  • Day with highest rides: 4,612 on Sept. 8
  • City-reported complaints: 10
  • Number of complaints to companies: 64
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