Christchurch Celebrates 1 Million Scooter Rides In Less Than 10 Months
Cities | August 12, 2019
To understand the importance of Christchurch’s first million electric scooter rides, you have to put the milestone in its proper context.
It’s an unexpected story, really. Seven years after 2011’s devastating earthquake, as a new urban revival was beginning cover over the last of the scars that had marred the cityscape for the better part of a decade, few were the Kiwis who had high hopes for Christchurch’s newest addition to the transportation grid: dockless Lime electric scooters.
But then something happened.
Instead of two-wheeled anarchy, citizens of New Zealand’s 3rd largest city seemed to embrace this new form of mobility that seamlessly blends technology with urban experience. In December of 2018, Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel went so far as to say:
“I haven’t seen this much activity and buzz in and around the city since before the quake - people are out and about and they’re riding with big smiles on their faces. These e-scooters have made the city increasingly accessible and have supported an immense amount of personalized mobility.”
And now, less than 10 months after they launched, residents of Christchurch have another reason to smile. On Saturday, August, 17, the city is celebrating its 1,000,000th Lime ride with an inaugural First Ride community event dedicated to safety and scooter education. The milestone places Christchurch among global micromobility leaders like Paris, Brisbane and Los Angeles, and underscores the fact that massive populations aren’t required to facilitate smart, accessible scooter systems.
Heatmaps provided by Lime show a diverse network of routes concentrated around Hagley Park and branching outwards to almost all corners of the city. Among the most popular areas to ride electric scooters in Christchurch are Oxford Terrace, Sumner Beach, the University of Canterbury and High Street.
Beyond the rides themselves are an impressive series of stats highlighting some of the peripheral benefits of thoughtfully-implemented micromobility systems. Survey analyses and global riding trends have allowed the team at Lime to calculate that the 1,000,000+ scooter trips in Christchurch are equivalent to an estimated:
- 293,000 car trips avoided
- 478,610 km of vehicle travel diverted
- 120 tons of CO2 emissions reduced
And this is only the beginning. According to Lauren Mentjox, Lime’s regional public affairs manager, the company is currently engaged in discussions with neighboring districts that will “enable people to move more freely across the region.”
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