The City of Vincent is on its way to becoming the fourth WA metropolitan council to test electric scooter rentals.
Councilors voted at last Tuesday’s council meeting to direct chief executive David MacLennan to invite expressions of interest for an e-scooter share system to operate within the city.
Responses will be evaluated to see if the trial can go ahead.
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Operators will be asked to submit details of their pricing and revenue model. Approved operators would have to pay for any infrastructure for parking and signage.
The successful operator would receive a 12-month contract with a possible extension, as well as the possibility for compatibility with neighboring local governments, including Perth.
The city has been in discussions with its Inner City Group counterparts the cities of Perth, Subiaco and South Perth and the Town of Victoria Park to synchronize the trial of e-scooters across the inner city.
Mayor Emma Cole said the city’s vision was to have an integrated shared system where people could ride through inner city local government areas without having to swap e-scooters at the boundaries.
“We will continue to discuss with the City of Perth and our fellow Inner City Group councils to bring this vision to life,” she said.
City of Perth councilors agreed in June to introduce a two-year trial of an e-scooter share scheme. A draft tender document is being prepared and will be brought back to the council before the city enters into any agreements with operators and starts the trial.
Ms Cole said an e-scooter share system would improve traffic congestion and connectivity between the city’s town centers and key facilities such as Beatty Park, the library and community centre.
She said the city was looking for an e-scooter provider that could control speeds using GPS technology, provide helmets and offer geofencing technology to help control parking and where the scooters can be used.
“E-scooters and other micro-mobility devices are not for everyone, but each time a person makes a trip that way, it frees up space on the streets for people who need to drive,” she said.
“Our intention is to have a trial that allows us to have flexibility to adjust and improve the system during the trial period to ensure a good level of service and maintain public amenity.”
According to a city report, currently 67 per cent of its residents journey to work by car but the city hopes to reduce this to 58 per cent over five years, then down to 48 per cent in 10 years.
It said an e-scooter share system would provide a transport option to fill gaps in public transport, including the lack of east-west connectivity between town centres.
The City of Stirling introduced a 12-month trial of e-scooter hiring in February. It has 250 e-scooters operating over 26sqkm between Watermans Bay and Scarborough, plus inland to Karrinyup and Innaloo.
The City of Rockingham followed in March and several WA regional centers also have e-scooter trails in operation or will start this summer, including Albany, Esperance, Bunbury and Geraldton.
Amendments to the Road Traffic Code 2000 which came into effect last December in WA opened the door for local governments to look at introducing e-scooter hire services.
New laws on e-rideables include users being at least 16 years old and a travel speed of no faster than 25km/h when on shared paths and bicycle paths, and on local roads where the speed limit is 50km/h or less and there are no road markings.