Yarra Council explores options for ebikes

Yarra is working with other inner city councils to manage the potential introduction of dockless electric bikes (e-bikes).

We want cycling to be a safe and accessible option for as many people as possible, and support the potential for dockless e-bikes in Yarra. However, we also need to ensure there are clear guidelines in place for operators to ensure that e-bikes do not clutter our streets or negatively impact public space.

Since the demise of oBike, which introduced its dockless e-bike scheme in the inner city without any prior consultation with Yarra or other councils in 2017, a number of other e-bike operators have expressed an interest in launching in Melbourne.

To ensure a coordinated approach, we are working collaboratively with the cities of Melbourne and Port Phillip to explore options for introducing and managing a higher quality dockless e-bike scheme across the three council areas.

The City of Melbourne is currently running an Expression of Interest process to select up to 2 approved e-bike share operators. Following the conclusion of this process, we will work towards entering a joint Memorandum of Understanding with the selected operators and the City of Melbourne, to ensure a consistent approach.

Update on e-Scooters

In addition to e-bikes, a number of e-scooter operators that have expressed an interest in launching in Melbourne. Currently, the road rules do not allow for e-scooters, meaning a change to State Government road rules would be required. We will defer any decision on a trial of e-scooters in Yarra until the government releases the detail of what (if any) legislative changes will be introduced to allow a trial to commence.

Yarra Council considered this matter at its council meeting on 3 December 2019. Read the full council resolution below:

3 December 2019

11.5 – COUNCIL RESOLUTION

  1. That Council note the officer report in relation to micromobility options and in particular e-bike and e-scooter proposals from private companies.
  2. That, in regard to bike share and e-bike share, Council:

    (a) support in principle a trial of dockless electric bicycles in the City of Yarra;

    (b) authorise the Chief Executive Officer to work in partnership with other Councils and organisations to manage and respond to bike and e-bike share service providers including entering into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with other Councils and service providers; and

    (c) note that City of Melbourne is currently running an Expression of Interest process to select up to two (2) preferred e-Bike share operators, and that Council may be able to join MOUs with City of Melbourne, other Councils and the operators selected by City of Melbourne, as a means of managing the approach within the municipality.

  3. That, in regards to e-scooter share proposals, Council:

(a) note that Council officers are in discussions with Department of Transport staff regarding exemptions into State road rules to allow an e-scooter trial to take place;

(b) note that Council officers are in close contact with officers at City of Port Phillip with regards to their proposed e-scooter trial, and monitoring the trial if and when it takes place; and

(c) defer any decision on e-scooter share until the state government releases the detail of what (if any) legislative changes will be introduced to allow a trial to commence.

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