Car sharing. Ridesharing. Bike sharing. What’s missing? Drop is bringing e-scooters to Toronto’s during Collision, North America's fastest-growing tech conference. In an effort to help the 25,000+ attendees make the three kilometers trek between conference buildings, Drop is setting up two pick-up and drop-off scooter stations – one at Harbourfront Centre and one at Hotel X, steps from where the conference will be taking place.

Drop, a Toronto-based mobile rewards platform, is sponsoring the e-scooter activation and aims to have attendees complete 4,000 rides over the course of the conference. The result will be 2,500 kilograms of carbon emissions saved, almost 550 rideshare cars off the road, and saving attendees nearly $45,000 in travel costs.

“E-scooters are everywhere in Silicon Valley, and as a rewards company, we want to level up the lives of our members by making the ride for attendees of Collision more rewarding, so we’re introducing an easy and fun way to get around,” said Derrick Fung, Drop CEO. “An e-scooter is 88 times more energy efficient than a car, it’s fun, it’s good for the environment, and helps to decrease traffic congestion. Our view is that Toronto would really benefit from a permanent e-scooter sharing program.”

The e-scooter rides will be free and provide conference attendees with a smooth 10-minute scooter ride along the picturesque Toronto lake shore. Partner firm Velocia, a rewards platform focused on urban mobility, crunched the numbers: by comparison, driving the conference route will take attendees a minimum of 15 minutes and cost over $20 in fuel and parking. Walking will take participants 40 minutes, while a ride-share will cost them up to $11.

The stats support Fung’s assertion with the average commuter spending 42 hours a year sitting in traffic, the equivalent to an entire standard work week.

And the appetite is there for many commuters to make the switch: Drop conducted a survey to determine habits and attitudes about transportation, and the results showed a definite openness to making positive transportation changes.

While 42 per cent of participants said they drive to work, 45 percent said they’d like to see an e-scooter sharing program made available.

Moreover, many respondents were open to changing their modes of transportation:

  • Saving time was a major driver for change, with 53 per cent saying they would consider leaving the car at home if it meant a shorter commute.
  • Money was also a factor, with 51 per cent claiming they would make a change if it meant cost savings.
  • 43 per cent cited environmental impact as a reason to drive less

“In the busiest North-American cities, commuters can spend upwards of 160 hours per year sitting in traffic. This costs the U.S. economy alone over $160B in wasted time and fuel each year,” says David Winterstein, CEO of Velocia. “If we can shift the way people commute in their cities, there will be massive benefits not just for the economy but also for the individual and our communities.”

The pop-up e-scooter activation will be available for the duration of Collision, which takes place between May 21 – 23, 2019 at the Enercare Centre, and will provide registered conference attendees with free access to e-scooters to transport them between the Harbourfront Centre and Hotel X, a three kilometer stretch between conference venues. With safety as a top priority, the team has taken steps to ensure responsible scooter use: mandatory helmets, designated pick-up and drop-off zones, and a clearly marked route in a vehicle-free zone.