Commercial permits established for e-scooters

Date published: 26 May 2020

Townsville City Council has voted to establish a commercial permit system to facilitate the operation of electric scooters (e-scooters) in Townsville.

Mayor Jenny Hill said the use of e-scooters had become increasingly popular in recent years.

“Within two weeks of e-scooters launching in Auckland and Christchurch, users had clocked-up around 107,000 kilometres and within two months more than 100,000 trips had been taken,” Cr Hill said.

“Similarly, within two weeks of operation in Brisbane, the first shared e-scooter scheme in Australia, users had undertaken more than 50,000 trips.

“E-scooters would provide a welcome addition to the variety of transport options currently available in our city.

“Locals and tourists alike could use them to travel from the central business district to The Strand, Pallarenda, Palmer Street or Queensland Country Bank Stadium.”

Cr Hill said council was aware of issues that arose with the roll-out of e-scooters in other cities.

“Our officers have taken the lessons learnt from other areas and incorporated them into considerations for a roll-out here,” she said.

“By proactively developing a commercial permit scheme, council is able to set conditions as part of the permit issued to prospective operators.

“Speed limits and no-go areas can be set with desired zones or at specific times and e-scooters can be programmed so they cannot travel faster than the desired speed limit inside zones.

“All property, such as the scooters and helmets would be the responsibility of the e-scooter company, as would any necessary insurances.

“Townsville’s event experiences may also be enhanced with e-scooters and help us promote Townsville as a vibrant, fun event destination.” she said.

Cr Hill said council had already received interest from companies interested in establishing an e-scooters scheme in Townsville, with officers to continue these discussions.