An ongoing e-scooter trial in the ACT could be expanded to all Canberra town centres by the end of 2022, the ACT Minister for Transport and City Services, Chris Steel, announced last month.
Positive community feedback and an independent review of the existing share scheme pilots in central Canberra and Belconnen has prompted the ACT Government to “explore options to roll out the shared e-scooter scheme to all Canberra town centres”.
“A large majority of Canberrans have welcomed e-scooters as another useful transport option, and we’ve heard the feedback that people would like to see them available outside of the current pilot zones,” Mr Steel said.
“Scooters can be a fun, accessible and environmentally friendly transport option. However, the review has highlighted that there is more work to do to integrate scooters with public transport journeys and promote sustainable travel.
“We see the expansion of the scheme as an opportunity to provide an alternative form of travel for Canberrans, together with public transport, during the upcoming disruption associated with the construction of major infrastructure projects.”
The ACT Government said a phased expansion will begin with connecting the two zones of central Canberra and Belconnen, before expanding to Gungahlin and Woden, then on to Tuggeranong, Weston Creek and Molonglo.
Government representatives will work with scooter operators to connect the town centres using geofencing technology and Canberra’s extensive shared path network, so people can safely move between regions without using major arterial roads.
Mr Steel said the roll-out would include consultation with communities to better understand the kinds of trips people want to make and what tailored safety measures might be needed in different regions of Canberra.
He said the Government is working with operators Beam and Neuron to improve the operation of the pilots and the proposed expansion, and to address the safety concerns of some community members.
“The ACT Government will be implementing a key recommendation of the review, to introduce a ‘three-strikes rule’ where multiple acts of non-compliance, like not wearing a helmet or not parking a scooter properly, could lead to a user’s account being cancelled,” the Minister said.
“The Government will be looking at how we can provide safe designated parking areas for e-scooters, improve geo-fenced ‘no-go’ and ‘low speed’ zones to promote safe use and we intend to legislate to address unsafe practices like drink riding.”
Victorian Pilot Operators to be Confirmed Soon
The operators for e-scooter share scheme trials in four Victorian council areas are expected to be confirmed in the coming weeks.
Expressions of interest closed on Monday for operators of one of the trials, incorporating the three metropolitan municipalities of Melbourne, Yarra and Port Phillip. According to a statement released yesterday, an announcement on the selected operator or operators is expected during the week of November 29th.
The Victorian Department of Transport is coordinating the 12-month trials, which also include the regional City of Ballarat.