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Canberra, we’re getting e-scooters as early as August

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Canberra—we’re about to get a whole lot zippier.

Today, Minister for Active Travel Chris Steel announced that Canberra will introduce an e-scooter share scheme in 2020, with the ACT Government opening an expression of interest process.

Two e-scooter operators are involved in the process, with the hope that scooters will be available to hire from as early as August.

“E-scooters offer a new way of taking short, ‘first mile/last mile’ trips across the city, including connecting to and from public transport,” explains Minister Steel.

“This isn’t just a new form of mobility, it will see the start of a brand new industry in the ACT, creating jobs in the management and maintenance of shared e-scooters.”

Under the Public Unleased Land Act 2013, two e-scooter operators will be selected to offer up to 750 devices each for the public to hire and use—and not just in the city centre either.

“In addition to the devices being provided in the inner city areas, e-scooters must be available in at least one other region to test operations in another part of Canberra,” added Minister Steel.

E-scooter users will, unsurprisingly, have to comply with road rules and public safety guidelines, especially as e-scooters are not permitted on roads or in on-road bicycle lanes, except on residential streets where there is no footpath.

However, e-scooters are allowed on footpaths and shared paths in the ACT, meaning that users can take advantage of the ACT’s excellent network of bike paths/shared paths.

Geofencing and GPS will also be used to monitor where and how e-scooters can be used across Canberra.

As for how fast they go—speed limits will be a maximum speed of 15km/h on footpaths and up to 25km/h in all other permitted locations.

“We anticipate that the e-scooters will be popular with tourists, using them to explore Canberra and move between our national and cultural institutions,” says Minister Steel.

“We have engaged with the NCA and the ANU so that they can regulate e-scooter share schemes on their land in a similar way to the rest of the city.”

“Operators will be expected to manage their e-scooters to ensure that they do not clutter our streetscapes and urban areas, that their fleets are regularly rebalanced, and that they do not block people walking or moving through public spaces.”

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