24 March 2023

Have an opinion on e-scooters? Now's your chance to share it

| Travis Radford
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E-scooters in the rain

Shared e-scooters rolled into Canberra in 2020. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Researchers have invited Canberrans (even those who don’t use e-scooters) to share their perspectives on the increasingly popular devices.

The survey forms part of a Queensland University of Technology (QUT) research project exploring e-scooter use and safety around Australia.

Findings are to be given to the ACT Government to inform its decision-making and also form part of a public report slated for late 2023.

Canberra was chosen as the last of three locations after surveys were conducted in Adelaide and Brisbane in the period since the project began in 2021.

QUT lead researcher professor Narelle Haworth said the ACT was selected following a low number of survey responses collected in Adelaide.

“We thought, ‘okay, it will be interesting … to see if the pattern of use and people’s perceptions are the same in the ACT as they are in Brisbane’,” she said.

The Canberra responses would also later be compared with international survey samples collected in Belgium, Norway, the Czech Republic and Sweden.

“We decided that it’d be really good to actually have the same survey across a range of countries which have different rules,” Professor Haworth said.

“To see the way in which the differences in the rules might result in different types of attitudes, behaviours and safety outcomes.”

READ ALSO POLL: e-scooter irritation and apartment parking pain

Professor Haworth said Canberra had some unique qualities which could result in different findings to other surveys.

“We know that bicycling is much more common and the infrastructure is better in the ACT than in many other capital cities,” she said.

“So we’re speculating there’ll be more use of that bicycling infrastructure and not as much riding on the footpath or on the road.

“And we thought people who were riding bicycles might have swapped to e-scooters, or it could be a different group of people.”

Canberra’s shared e-scooter scheme was last expanded in 2022 to allow riders to travel as far as Gungahlin to Tuggeranong.

More than a dozen remaining suburbs were added with only some outer suburbs left without access to either an orange Neuron or purple Beam.

New laws also passed in 2022 introduced new offences for riding e-scooters and gave additional scooter-related powers to police.

READ ALSO Canberra’s e-scooters hit the south, go further west to make biggest network in the country

Professor Haworth said research into e-scooters was not new but past research had mainly focused on the perspectives of e-scooter riders.

“We want to promote the study particularly to non-riders because what they think and their experiences with e-scooters are crucially important,” she said.

“[These are] people who are encountering e-scooters as they’re walking or riding a bicycle or in some way having to share the infrastructure with them.”

Professor Haworth said the overall goal of the surveys would be to improve conditions and safety for people who use and don’t use e-scooters.

People living in the ACT and surrounds who complete the anonymous survey before Sunday 30 April also go into a prize draw.

Click here to complete or learn more about the QUT’s e-scooter survey.

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Possibly the worst survey I ever tried to do. Did anyone actually proof read the survey form before posting it?
So many questions where none of the available answers applied.

What a terrible survey. I couldn’t even be bothered finishing it. As others have said, the language is grammatically incorrect, to the point where the questions make no sense. Having already said that I have never used an e-scooter, and that I am very unlikely to, it then asks me questions as if I am an e-scooter rider. If this is the best that is coming out of our Universities they either need a significant funding boost, or get shut down.

The survey is a major disappointment, with many of the questions being badly written and the options for answers inappropriate. It’s not well thought through. I have no confidence that the results will be clear, nor that any interpretation will be good.

It appears that they’ve tried to cover too many types of respondents with the same study, instead of doing separate studies or at least separate questionnaires so the questions make more sense and are less contradictory. Having past and present tense in the same sentence makes it impossible to answer logically, whilst poor grammar (eg ‘How safe is it be for for other road users …..) reflects badly on the university as clearly there was no proofreading or checking of the questionnaire.

They should probably also have tailored it for the different conditions in each environment. Additionally, they’ve failed to consider other factors that have an impact on e-scooter riding, such as where there is no footpath, it’s wet and hard to navigate or the scooter gets stuck.

Poor quality survey will give poor quality results.

I assume that those running the survey do not want people to complete this if they have vision problems or are older, as the print on the introduction is very small. Discriminatory.

The survey does not address our opinion about the way e-scooters are dumped all over the city. It is unsightly. I also have been startled by the silent e-scooters coming from behind and speeding past with no use of bells to alert pedestrians, I don’t even know if they have a bell. Cyclists are much more polite.

On the whole I think they are great.
It’s the stupid users of them that I take issue with.
Often leaving them in inconsiderate and sometimes dangerous places.

Riding 2 up, Riding on the roads, doing far more than shared zone speed limits and/or riding them while wearing the helmet on the handlebars are some of the more common practices that need to be stamped out.

If I see any left on a footpath, I take it as my civic duty to dump it off the footpath to wherever it might end up. So inconsiderate of other footpath users, and the companies don’t seemt o give two hoots about it.

The english of the survey is extremely poor
“Over the last 30 days, how often did interact with people riding an e-scooter…?”

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