City welcomes changes to e-scooter use

Published on 23 November 2021

Two scooters being ridden with helmets in motion.

CHANGES to state legislation around use of micromobility devices such as electric scooters has been welcomed by the City of Hobart, ahead of a hire-and-ride trial.

City of Hobart’s City Infrastructure Committee Chair Bill Harvey said the legislative changes will allow the City of Hobart – in collaboration with the City of Launceston – to proceed with the long-awaited trial.

“This is great news for Hobart and Tasmania,” he said. “There are already many people using e-scooters to get around who have been waiting for the greater flexibility this legislation brings.

“We are confident that e-scooters will play a role in last-mile travel and short trips around our city, in the process helping to reduce traffic congestion and encouraging more sustainable transport solutions.

“It’s all about offering more choices so people can find what works best for them. The more options we have available, the less reliant we become on single modes of transport.”

“Plus, e-scooters have great potential as a fun and interactive way for visitors to get around the city, adding to their overall experience of Hobart.”

It was announced in September that two experienced micromobility vendors – Beam and Neuron – had been selected to operate e-scooter hire services in the two cities.

Cr Harvey said a thorough assessment process took into account safety, responsiveness to issues, job creation and accessibility.

“There are still some steps to go through before we can roll the e-scooters out on to Hobart’s streets,” he said. “This includes determining where they will be permitted to travel and be parked. There will need to be some controls to make sure they contribute positively to the city.

“Now that the legislation has been passed, we have a better understanding of how the trial will be able to operate and our officers are working with the vendors to finalise the details.”

All e-scooters in the trial will have number plates, third-party insurance, be properly maintained, appropriately speed limited, and prevented by software from entering unpermitted areas.

It is hoped that e-scooters will be available for hire in Hobart before Christmas, once changes to the Tasmanian Road Rules have been enacted. More information will be made available as the details of the trial are finalised.

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