Every night of the Stanley Cup finals in Denver, Avalanche fans have poured downtown, wearing their jerseys and zipping through parks, trails and streets to Ball Arena and sports bars on scooters. So many scooters. But more scooters than usual?
We wondered: Are Avs fans actually driving up scooter traffic as they slide downtown, or does it just look that way?
We reached out to Lyft and Lime, the two companies that contract with the city of Denver, to see if the rise in ridership around the Avalanche games is a figment of our imagination or not. Turns out, we’re seeing clearly.
Lyft’s bikes and scooters were ridden roughly 43,000 times in the first three days of the Stanley Cup finals, compared to 24,000 times last year in the same time frame, according to the company.
Lyft worked with both city officials and Ball Arena staff to manage parking for bikes, scooters and cars. The company even installed some signs at the venues, though that’s still a work in progress.
Lyft plans to continue working with Ball Arena and others on managing scooter parking during the remaining Stanley Cup bouts.
“Whether it’s a scooter, bike, or rideshare — Lyft has many options for fans as they travel to and from the arena,” said senior operations manager Anna Prisse. “We will continue to work with city officials and Ball Arena to ensure fans have a smooth and safe experience.”
Lime also saw an uptick in both e-scooter and bike use.
Comparing use from the previous weekend to the first games of the finals, the company saw a 25% increase in scooter traffic and a 100% increase in bike traffic, according to a spokesperson.
“We prepared for major increases in demand around the Stanley Cup Finals and Avs fans delivered for both games, especially Saturday,” said spokesperson Jacob Tugendrajch.
The increase in use comes as some lawmakers are weighing additional regulations on scooters so that this environmentally friendly mode of transportation isn’t banned altogether — which some residents have recently demanded.
The devices offer an efficient form of getting around. They reduce the need for parking. But they are often ridden without much regard for the law. Despite clear rules that scooters may not be ridden on the sidewalk, except when parking or taking off, many riders swerve past pedestrians and wheelchair users.
Denver City Councilmember Chris Hinds surveyed over 500 of his constituents in his district about scooters, as he considers pushing for safety. Possible policies include increased education about the rules or geofencing devices that would prevent scooters from operating in areas where they are not permitted.
“It’s clear that your feedback shows the current implementation is not the right one for Denver,” he wrote to his constituents. “It’s also clear that most people feel a middle ground solution is best — in other words, that there’s some compromise between Denver’s hands-off approach to lack of education and enforcement and a total ban of micromobility devices.”
He also noted that some vendors have already started education about safety issues, adding, “While that education might still be rudimentary, at least it’s happening at all.”
If you’re looking for tips, here’s our handy guide to riding scooters safely. And whatever you do, don’t drink and ride!