Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Hobart gets on board with e-scooter operator

City of Hobart Council has announced mobility company, Beam, as the sole operator for the city’s e-scooter program.

With nearly 800 riders per day now choosing to use e-scooters, the data tells a very positive story around the impacts e-scooters are providing the community as an alternative form of transport for both residents and visitors to Hobart, says Council Sustainability in Infrastructure Portfolio Chair, Councillor Bill Harvey.

Cr Harvey said the next stage of the city’s e-scooter program demonstrated Council’s continued commitment to sustainable, high-quality transport solutions which help to ease traffic congestion.

“The e-scooter program represents an integral component of our efforts to create cleaner, safer, and a more people-centred Hobart,” he said.

“Data from the trial shows us e-scooter riders have travelled nearly 1.4 million kilometres across Hobart, with 47% of those trips replacing fossil fuel vehicle rides equating to the reduction of 110 tonnes of CO2.”

Cr Harvey highlighted the importance of the new permit system in ensuring operator accountability and fostering a more sustainable urban landscape.

“With the introduction of fines for parking clutter and continuation of the Three Strike Policy for rider breaches, we are taking decisive steps towards promoting responsible e-scooter usage and improving the overall experience for all members of our community,” he said.

The new permit system, developed in collaboration with a micromobility consultant and other Australian councils, incorporates key performance indicators to ensure compliance with safety standards, environmental impact reporting, and operational efficiency.

Beam’s General Manager (ANZ), Tom Cooper said Beam were committed to expanding shared-micromobility as a form of transport for all, accelerating modal shift away from cars in a safe and affordable way.

“Amongst the changes we’re making, we’re excited to be upgrading our Hobart e-scooter fleet to our latest Saturn 5 model, catering for longer commuter journeys with features like wireless phone charging and auditory alerts,” Mr Cooper said.

“We are also excited to be introducing Hobart’s first seated e-scooters to the fleet, opening up e-scooter riding to more residents and visitors.

“We continue to be committed to forming partnerships with local community members and organisations and engaging in discussions around the safe operation of e-scooters to ensure the safety of riders, pedestrians and other road users.”

Additionally, the City has partnered with Ride Report, a third-party open data provider, to enhance transparency and provide valuable insights for future transport and urban planning initiatives.

Key features of the e-scooter program include:

  • Introduction of fines for parking clutter to improve operator accountability;
  • Expansion of designated parking bays in CBD, Battery Point, and Sandy Bay to enhance safety for vulnerable footpath users;
  • Continuation of a Three Strike Policy for rider breaches to promote responsible behaviour;
  • Deployment of an e-scooter dashboard to facilitate transparency and management efficiencies.

The Council is also exploring innovative solutions such as unsafe rider detection alerts and seated e-scooters for individuals with mobility issues to further enhance user experience and safety.

“We are excited to embark on this new chapter of the e-scooter program, leveraging technology and data-driven insights to create a more sustainable and inclusive urban environment,” Cr Harvey said.

A four-to-six-week transition period will begin before Beam takes on sole operations in Hobart.

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