26 August 2022

Keeps scootin' on: Woden and Gungahlin linked as more suburbs open up to e-scooters

| Lottie Twyford
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Chris Steel on a scooter

Minister for Transport and City Services Chris Steel said Canberrans had expressed an interest in riding e-scooters between Belconnen and the city. Photo: ACT Government.

Canberrans will soon be able to hop on an e-scooter and travel all the way from Woden to Gungahlin as the scheme rolls out across more suburbs next month.

If you’re game for that, the journey will take between one hour and 90 minutes and could set you back more than $40.

Neuron and Beam say there is a range of passes people can buy, which would lower that price if they do want to use them for long commutes.

Most scooter rides in the Territory are around 2 kilometres.

READ ALSO Greens and Liberals press government on timetable for light rail to Woden

Areas like the Parliamentary Triangle and other suburbs previously out-of-bounds for e-scooter users will also be open to travel from 9 September.

Kaleen, Lyneham and North Watson, the Black Mountain Peninsula and additional areas of Yarralumla, including Weston Park, have been included in the government’s latest announcement.

Weston and the Mitchell business district were also both given the green light.

Businesses in Mitchell had called on the government to introduce e-scooters in their area as parking is a problem.

Neuron head of mobility Richard Hannah, Minister for Transport and City Services Chris Steel and Beam

Neuron head of mobility Richard Hannah, Minister for Transport and City Services Chris Steel and Beam General Manager Australia and New Zealand Tom Cooper. Photo: Lottie Twyford.

Minister for Transport and City Services Chris Steel said more than 2.1 million trips on e-scooters had been taken since they were first trialled in the Territory in 2020.

“This expansion responds to the desire expressed by Canberrans in other communities for the e-scooters to operate and connect with their area,” Mr Steel said.

There are now around 1800 devices around Canberra’s streets. No new e-scooters will be brought online as part of the new expansion, the providers confirmed today.

The new zones will be operational from 9 September.

READ ALSO Light rail ‘near misses’ still happening three years down the track

An earlier expansion tranche, which linked the City and Belconnen, included a range of safety measures, including no-go zones in retirement villages, schools and the hospital and temporary slow zones outside the stadium for major events.

Safety measures in the next expansion include no-go zones on particular arterial roads like Adelaide Avenue to ensure riders take safer paths instead.

“We’ve made tweaks to those geofencing areas and we will continue to make more with the providers,” Mr Steel told reporters today.

READ ALSO Light rail for Queanbeyan? A lot of you are already on board (but don’t hold your breath)

Since their introduction to the ACT in 2020, there have been reports of injuries associated with the devices as well as concerns about unsafe use due to scootering under the influence, for example.

A raft of new laws were passed in March which introduced new offences for riding the devices without proper control and gave police the power to direct a person to get off an e-scooter.

Mr Steel said he was unaware of anyone who had gone to court and been penalised for offences such as drink-scootering.

The government has previously signalled it was considering implementing no-park zones outside popular nightspots or targeted curfews to make the devices harder to access at times and in locations where riders would likely be intoxicated.

Mr Steel indicated on Thursday (25 August) adjustments were consistently being made to where e-scooters could be driven and parked, and active monitoring of where accidents were occurring frequently was underway.

E-scooters

The e-scooter scheme is expanding to connect Gungahlin and Woden. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Both Neuron and Beam will host ‘come and try’ days in the new areas. The two operators offer various safety schemes.

Beam General Manager Australia and New Zealand Tom Cooper said he was excited to be able to offer e-scooter rides to more Canberrans.

Neuron Head of Australia and New Zealand Richard Hannah agreed.

“E-scooters are a fantastic way to travel around Canberra. The expanded riding area will encourage more people to ditch their cars and choose a sustainable form of transport as part of their daily commute.”

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SigmaOctantis3:15 pm 27 Aug 22

Does anyone know who best to contact at these companies as my mother was knocked over by one of these new wonderful machines imposed on us in Garema place and broke her hand in the fall. The rider just rode off.

This is lamentable.
See – “laws were passed in March which introduced new offences for riding the devices without proper control”
So, I’d suggest the ACT Police.
Tracking will need scooter colour (if recalled), and reasonably accurate ‘Garema Place’ Location and Time. Any description of the rider might help them, and direction of travel.
The respective companies presumably have some tracking data, since they can switch-off the power at their “geofencing” boundaries.
Hope they retain data for some sensible time.
If an Ambulance was used, there will be data available that way.
Beam and Neuron companies each have websites.
Hope they can identify Rider’s payment by this rotten hit-and-runner. Good luck.

That whole area is likely covered in CCTV with person recognition. ACT police if they let you have it.

SigmaOctantis2:45 am 28 Aug 22

Thank you. I shall gather the details.

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