Monday, February 26, 2024

Toowoomba e-scooter trial parked for now

Toowoomba Regional Council says a CBD trial of E-devices will only go ahead if it is able to fund the initiative.

The Council this week resolved to proceed with a 12-month trial if budget is made available during the 2023/24 Budget Review Two process, or a future budget.

Infrastructure Services Group Portfolio Chair, Councillor Carol Taylor said while Councillors had resolved to progress a trial, it would depend on future budgetary priorities with funds needed for procurement activities and running costs for the trial.

“Firstly, any trial is about Council potentially partnering with companies for the public hire of E-devices. It does not include any involvement around private ownership of E-scooters and E-bikes,” said Cr Taylor.

“It is anticipated Council would need to allocate approximately $115,000 in the first year and $40,000 per year in subsequent years to appropriately procure and monitor the right partner(s) for this initiative.

“Consideration will be given to budget in the 2023/24 Budget Review Two process which will happen next year, as well as any future budgets taking into consideration competing priorities.”

Cr Taylor said Council had been through a significant project which explored the learnings of other regional cities in Queensland that had introduced E-devices, as well as community consultation with residents which returned a range of views.

“E-scooters and E-bikes are transport elements that have been identified in the current refresh of the Toowoomba Region Sustainable Transport Strategy.”

“We want to see less cars on the road and will continue pursuing options to make this an active and healthy Region.

“That said, the community consultation Council undertook returned 1285 responses with an almost even split of people who were in favour of a trial, to those who were against it.

“While Council has determined that a 12-month trial can go ahead, that can only happen on the basis of budget being made available,” Cr Taylor said.

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