How electric scooters have transformed Brisbane city?
Posted 13th November 2019. Category: General.
Electric scooters have been around in Brisbane for a long time, yet only in the last two years have they jumped in popularity. Mostly due to the sharing operators (such as Lime) putting them throughout the streets available for anyone to use at their fingertips.
Brisbane was the first Australian city to trial electric Lime scooters - allowing users to travel up to 25km/h on footpaths wearing an approved helmet. Brisbane was also the only state (back when Lime debuted in Australia) to officially allow these devices to be ridden around the city. Brisbane's regulation was up to date, and open to this new form of city transportation - something that relates back to the touristic culture that embodies the state.
It has now been about 12 months since Lime introduced the future of transportation to Brisbane city, and so the success of eScooters have been widely reported. Lime now operates about 750 electric scooters in Brisbane, with another operator Neuron Mobility from Singapore about to enter the market with 250. The days of shared 'bicycles' are behind us, as electric scooters take the reign. Shared electric scooters have solved many of the pitfalls of the shared bicycle model - for example:
- GPS positioning units are able to lock off or reduce the speed of riders in certain areas
- Sensors are able to measure how a rider is treating a vehicle
- Regular charging ensures scooters are attended to on a frequent basis rather than being left for months at a time
These features have pushed the eScooter sharing model above the line to make it a success that balances the requirements of riders and the general public.
The impact electric scooters have on a city is often underestimated. The effect of a new form of mobility can be compared to government rail or bus infrastructure development - yet eScooters do not require public capital outlay and operate for-profit almost instantly. They are often the fastest on-demand form of transportation available - immediately making faraway destinations within arms reach - yet also operate seamlessly with other transportation forms.
It won't be long before shared eScooters arrive at other cities such as Sydney, Melbourne or Canberra. All three states are in discussion and have conducted trials in various areas. At this point, the first step is changing the regulation to permit the devices throughout the city, then sharing operators must liaise with local councils to establish their network.
But what about for those people who use an electric scooter on a frequent basis? Lime scooters, for example; cost $1 to unlock and 30c per minute of use. If you are using an electric scooter for 30 minutes of travel per day (or 15 minutes each way to work), you would be spending $55 per week or $2,860 per annum! You can justify owning an electric scooter in just under three months! (based on the Xiaomi M365 at $649.95 in November 2019). What also comes with owning an electric scooter are the benefits of having a device with you at all times - no need to depend on it being available or charged. You can take it into work, or leave it locked outside! You also have high resale value if you decide to sell at any point!
WalkSmart recommends that you check your local state laws and regulations in relation to using electric scooters in public locations, roads and footpaths. Laws vary state by state and therefore may limit use to private locations only. Each local body is reviewing public electric scooter use, so we expect it to be regulated, but legal in all states within the short term. Feel free to contact WalkSmart if you have any further queries.