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The application to operate dockless electric scooter sharing schemes in Canberra closed last Monday. The ACT government is conducting a new trial to look at how electric scooters can be allowed in public land in a way that complies with road rules. Canberrans may finally be able to rent an electric scooter this August as two operators receive expressions of interest.
Canberra joins a growing number of cities that embrace electric scooters as an alternative mode of transport. While e-scooter sharing scheme operators are still yet to arrive in the region, it is already legal to ride an electric scooter in the city. Electric scooters are allowed in footpaths and other permitted locations with a speed limit of 15 km/h and 25 km/h respectively.
Minister for roads and active travel Chris Steel says that “e-scooters offer a new way of taking short, ‘first mile/last mile’ trips across the city” and sees e-scooter sharing as a “start of a brand new industry in the ACT, creating jobs in the management and maintenance of shared e-scooters”.
Policy and guidelines have been developed to meet the ACT government’s expectations to provide better transport options in Canberra.
Under the Public Unleased Land Act 2013, each operator is allowed to use 750 electric scooters. They will be available in the inner city and other regions to test the trial in different environments. Operators are expected to manage their electric scooters to ensure that they don’t clutter urban areas and block thoroughfares.
The National Capital Authority (NCA) and the Australian National University (ANU) have been invited to take part in the program to integrate electric scooters with other thoroughfares.
The ACT government will closely monitor the trial and operators must demonstrate that e-scooter sharing schemes are safe for use in public.
In Brisbane, it has been reported that Lime scooters have caused serious injury due to a software glitch. The e-scooter sharing operator has since stated that they have resolved the issue with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
Canberrans who can’t wait for the e-sharing scheme to hit the streets can buy their own electric scooters. Commuters can take a look at a wide range of entry-level electric scooters that are affordable and durable for everyday use.