The Ipswich City Council recently announced their plans to run an electric scooter trial in Springfield Central by late 2022. The program will allow an e-scooter operator to run for six months or more. The decision comes as electric scooters for adults continue to become a popular means of transportation in Brisbane, Canberra, and Darwin, among many other cities in Australia.
Talks for an e-scooter trial started in late 2020 with the council issuing a survey to the community and getting opinions on the new form of transportation. The council reported 6,000 people accessed the survey, but only 366 people completed it due to difficulties with the website.
Sixty-five per cent of the 366 respondents expressed their support for implementing e-scooters in Ipswich. Meanwhile, the report said that 53 per cent think that CBD infrastructures and footpaths would not be safe for electric scooters.
The Ipswich CBD, Ripley, and Springfield were considered locations for the electric scooter trial. However, Ripley’s ongoing infrastructure development removed the area from the options. Moreover, the CBD was also removed as more investment was needed for its bikeways and footpaths. Meanwhile, Springfield Central offers newer infrastructure and needs less support to start the e-scooter trial.
The report said that the government and non-government agencies support the trial, which will begin in late 2022 after consultation and planning.
Mayor Teresa Harding shares that the e-scooter program will not cost anything to the council. However, the council will emphasise the need for safe operations.
Electric scooters in Brisbane have become an integral part of daily commutes since 2018 thanks to their quick and affordable mode of transportation. However, electric scooter safety has become an issue as the popularity of e-scooters grows.
Combined data from the Jamieson Trauma Institute, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Princess Alexandra Hospital, and Mater Hospital reported that 797 people were hospitalised after receiving injuries while riding electric personal mobility devices, including Segways, hoverboards, e-skateboards, and e-bikes. The majority of injuries, totalling 624, consisted of shared e-scooter riders.
If electric scooters in Ipswich will roll out, the city can develop its transport system. Division 2 councillor Paul Tully expressed his strong support for the e-scooter trial to help bring the new technology to Brisbane and other cities. Tully also said that insurance and legal issues are important. He said that these issues will be identified during the e-scooter trial.
Due to the increasing safety concerns in the country, Australian electric scooter operators are introducing more geofencing options and monitoring software. Neuron Mobility announced that it will test its new safety technologies and tracking software in Brisbane and Darwin, including Ottawa in Canada and Slough in the UK.
Neuron Mobility’s High Accuracy Location Technology (HALT) will track real-time locations accurately using fixed base stations that connect with a receiver on the e-scooter. Meanwhile, their Rapid Geofence Detection (RGD) system, along with HALT, will identify riders that cross geofences, such as slow or no-ride zones. Neuron claims that their RGD will kick in within 0.3 seconds.
Electric scooter safety has come a long way, with rental e-scooter operators and e-scooter manufacturers improving their technology and services for rider safety. Keep yourself updated with the latest news on the Ipswich e-scooter program by signing up to Shape Your Ipswich and following the official website of Ipswich.