Popular e-scooters to play growing role in Canberra’s transport mix

The ACT Government will explore options to roll out the shared e-scooter scheme to all Canberra town centres by the end of 2022, following recommendations from the scheme’s independent review and positive community feedback.

“A large majority of Canberrans have welcomed e-scooters as another useful transport option, and we’ve heard the feedback that people would like to see them available outside of the current pilot zones in central Canberra and Belconnen,” said Minister for Transport and City Services Chris Steel.

“Scooters can be a fun, accessible and environmentally friendly transport option. However the review has highlighted that there is more work to do to integrate scooters with public transport journeys and promote sustainable travel.

“We see the expansion of the scheme as an opportunity to provide an alternative form of travel for Canberrans, together with public transport, during the upcoming disruption associated with the construction of major infrastructure projects.”

The ACT Government will explore a phased expansion of the current scheme with e-scooter providers by the end of 2022. This is proposed to start by connecting the two existing zones of central Canberra and Belconnen, before expanding initially to Gungahlin and Woden, then on to Tuggeranong, Weston Creek and Molonglo.

Planning for the expansion will include working with scooter operators to connect these town centres via Canberra’s extensive shared path network and the use of geo-fencing technology, so that people can move between regions safely and without using major arterial roads.

“As we work to expand the shared e-scooter scheme, we will be working with local communities to match the roll-out to their needs. This will include better understanding the kinds of trips people want to make, and what tailored safety measures may be needed in different regions of Canberra,” said Minister Steel.

“We understand that some Canberrans do hold safety concerns about e-scooters, and through our response to the review we are acting on that feedback. We are already working with operators Beam and Neuron to improve the safety and operation of the current scheme ahead of its proposed expansion.”

The ACT Government will be implementing a key recommendation of the review to introduce a “Three Strikes rule’ where multiple acts of non-compliance, like not wearing a helmet or not parking a scooter properly, could lead to a user’s account being cancelled.

“The review highlights opportunities to improve safety and address concerns about public amenity through measures like the ‘Three Strikes rule’ and we intend to implement these recommendations with e-scooter providers as soon as possible,” said Minister Steel.

“The Government will be looking at how we can provide safe designated parking areas for e-scooters, improve geo-fenced ‘no-go’ and ‘low speed’ zones to promote safe use and we intend to legislate to address unsafe practices like drink riding.

“E-scooters have been incredibly popular with Canberrans and we will continue to enhance the safety of the scheme, encourage better integration with public transport and maximise the benefits of this new mode of travel.”

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