E-scooter share schemes will be trialled in four Victorian local government areas from later this year, in a 12-month pilot coordinated by the State’s Department of Transport.
Three metropolitan councils – the cities of Yarra, Melbourne and Port Phillip – will be joined by the regional City of Ballarat for the trial announced last month.
The Department selected the four councils after calling for expressions of interest earlier this year.
No announcement has been made on a company to provide the e-scooters.
The Yarra Mayor, Councillor Gabrielle de Vietri, issued a statement saying the trial will be “…a great opportunity to test and understand how e-scooters can fit into our transport system and contribute to improved active and sustainable transport outcomes across Yarra”.
“We’re particularly interested in how e-scooters can support connectivity to existing transport systems such as our train and tram network and be used for short, local trips in and around our municipality,” Cr de Vietri said.
“Sustainable micromobility like e-scooters will help drive down car dependency, while improving the health and wellbeing of people in Yarra. As our population grows it will help us reduce carbon emissions and achieve our ambitious zero carbon targets. And it will help improve the liveability of our streets for everyone.”
As part of the trial, the e-scooters will be restricted bicycle lanes, bicycle paths, separated and shared paths, and roads with a maximum speed of 50kph. They will not be permitted on footpaths and high-speed roads.
The Ballarat Times newspaper has quoted the city’s Mayor, Cr Daniel Moloney, saying the introduction of e-scooters was “not even remotely intended to replace cars coming from suburban parts of the city into the centre”.
“This will be ideally for those people that want to do something a bit different to walking around the CBD in particular,” he says.
“I actually ultimately see this as being the first step to a range of different transport technologies being used in the city.”
Cr Moloney said he expected people who did not have a car but needed to cover short distances, such as tourists or university students moving between classes, to utilise the e-scooters.
City of Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp said e-scooters are the type of initiative that could “help to bring back the buzz by attracting more visitors into the city”.