Tuesday, March 5, 2024

First e-scooter trial for metro Sydney

Georges River Council has been announced as the first in the Sydney metro area to trial shared e-scooters.

Kogarah will become the sixth council area in NSW to take part in the shared e-scooter program when the trial launches on 10 January next year.

Riders aged 16 years and older will be able to hire a Beam e-scooter in Kogarah’s designated trial area, focused around the town centre (see map).

The shared Beam e-scooters include geofencing technology that controls where e-scooters are ridden and how fast they can travel, as well as ensuring they are parked appropriately.

The devices will be limited to 20km/h on roads within the trial area which have a speed limit of 50km/h or less. E-scooters are not permitted on footpaths.

Currently, only e-scooters provided through a shared scheme are permitted for use in approved trial areas, privately owned e-scooters cannot be used in public areas. 

Council has formed a shared e-scooter Local Working Group with local authorities, including Transport for NSW, NSW Health, St George Police, St George Local Business Chamber, local bus services and Council representatives to manage the trial.

“Georges River Council is thrilled to host an e-scooter trial and explore micro-mobility technology in Kogarah,” said Mayor, Sam Elmir.

“As we pride the Georges River area as Sydney’s Connected Community, our residents already enjoy the convenience and efficiency of the 30-minute city due to the concentration of homes and jobs around train stations across Georges River.

“As we grow, place-based planning for innovative public and private transport measures is required to make it easier for people to get to facilities and services, and between our employment centres.

“A number of our residents have requested this trial as another active transport option to reduce car use, emissions, and reduce traffic in our community in alignment with Council’s Environmental Resilience Action Plan. Environment is our top priority, and this mode of transport could have a positive impact on Georges River.

“We welcome trialling safe, convenient and tech-savvy transport options for our residents and visitors to get around our city centres efficiently for shorter commutes,” he said.

NSW Transport Minister, Jo Haylen said the trial was an exciting step forward for the state’s transport network.

“E-scooters are being used around the world as a convenient and sustainable alternative mode of transport, and I look forward to seeing locals and visitors embrace this technology from 10 January,” she said.

“Whether you’re zipping into Kogarah’s town centre, to Jubilee Stadium or transiting to a local train station or bus stop – remember to strap on a helmet, stay off the footpaths, and ride responsibility – and most of all have a bit of fun.”

Georges River Council and Beam will host a come-and-try safety workshop at Kogarah Town Square next Friday (15 December) for the community to learn about shared e-scooters. Another community workshop will be held at the same location on Saturday 6 January 2024.

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