Suppliers chosen for e-scooter trial

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Two major micromobility suppliers have been chosen to run e-scooter hire services under trial arrangements in Hobart and Launceston.

Beam and Neuron have been jointly selected to provide variety and competition for users and to allow the Cities of Hobart and Launceston to observe both supplies in an active market.

Both companies are experienced in providing app-based hire services in Australian cities and have outstanding safety records.

Hobart Lord Mayor Anna Reynolds said the two Cities would work with the providers on geofencing to control where the scooters can be ridden.

“This will take into account relevant legislation, safety, accessibility and amenity to find the right balance for both riders and non-riders,” she said. “For the trial to be successful, it needs to provide a genuine benefit to our city and our community and we’re keen to see that happen.”

Safety features offered by the successful vendors include a low-speed beginner mode, pedestrian detection sensors, and dangerous rider behaviour detection. In addition, users are not able to complete their ride session until the scooter is parked in a designated safe parking zone, and a team of Rapid Response Rangers attend to fallen or incorrectly parked scooters, customer complaints, and any incidents involving a scooter.

Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten said there had been a thorough assessment of the six suppliers that lodged an Expression of Interest to run the trial.

“The assessors looked at a range of criteria, including safety records and features, technology, local business support, accessibility features, job creation, sustainability measures and ethical business practices,” he said.

Cr Reynolds said the selection of the successful vendors was a big step towards a more sustainable future for Hobart.

“We see micromobility modes playing a significant role in reducing traffic congestion in the city and encouraging more sustainable transport solutions,” Cr Reynolds said. “With the Derwent ferry service now operating to bring commuters across the river, the opportunity to pick up an e-scooter when they arrive could be an ideal ‘last mile’ option for many.

“They can cut out car use for quick trips during the workday – it’s probably quicker to hop on an e-scooter for a trip to North Hobart than to get in your car and drive there. Plus, they have great potential as a fun and interactive way for visitors to get around the city.”

Cr van Zetten said he believed micromobility devices like e-scooters would create new opportunities for Northern Tasmanians.

“Micromobility devices like e-scooters are a popular transport option for people in cities across the world, and we’re eager to see how they will be used in Launceston as part of this trial,” he said.

The initial 12-month trial is set to start before the end of this year, once the state government introduces updated legislation around micromobility device use.

A consultation program will take place approximately three months into the trial to gain feedback from users, businesses, and other members of the community.

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