Victoria to trial e-scooter hire schemes across three LGAs

Electric scooters will be trialled for up to a year in three Victorian council areas, the Victorian Government announced last week.

Starting later this year, the trial is seeking to ascertain out how e-scooters could be integrated safely into the transport network. It will be conducted in two metropolitan LGAs and one regional LGA.

The council areas will be selected through a targeted expression of interest procedure overseen by the Department of Transport.

In a 2019 RACV survey, around 80 percent of Victorians said they would consider using an e-scooter and almost 60 percent said they would use e-scooters to replace car trips.

About 18 months, ago RACV made a submission to the National Transport Commission requesting a nationwide approach regarding speed limits and rules as to where e-scooters are ridden.

NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance said earlier this year the state government opposed e-scooter trials at present, citing risks to riders and pedestrians and the problem of scooters left in parks and on footpaths.

In related news, e-scooter use jumped significantly at six sites in metropolitan Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney, Adelaide, and Hobart during the pandemic, new traffic analysis indicates.

According to MetroCount, e-scooter use along Hobart’s Kangaroo Bay foreshore in 2020 rose by 157 percent from the year before. The rise in e-scooter numbers along the Bay Trail in Melbourne’s bayside suburb of Brighton was 124 percent, while the South Perth foreshore recorded a 74 percent rise.

MetroCount recorded a similarly large increase in cyclist numbers, with levels rising by up to 69 percent compared to pre-Covid.

The data services company attributed the rise in cycling volumes to several factors, including:

  • More people working and studying from home which led to an increase in leisure riding;
  • Riding for exercise increased due to the cancellation of team sports and gym closures; and
  • Fear of using public transport made cycling an attractive option for socially distant travel, particularly for short trips.