The number of people buying e-scooters for private use is rising in Brisbane, even as the number of trips being taken on shared e-scooters returns to pre-COVID levels.
- Brisbane City Council is finalising an e-mobility strategy to govern e-scooter and e-bike use
- Patronage on shared Lime and Neuron e-scooters has returned to pre-COVID levels
- Private sellers say the e-scooter market is increasingly busy
Brisbane City Council is developing a strategy to govern the use of both e-scooters and e-bikes citywide.
Director of iScoot Newstead Andre van der Merwe said his store, which launched in 2018, could sell between 10 and 20 e-scooters a day.
“Some people will turn up and they’ll leave a Lime [rental] scooter here and leave with one of our scooters,” he said.
Mr van der Merwe said customers were increasingly well-educated about e-scooter technology and safety issues.
“We’ve seen at least eight [competitor] stores around Brisbane — whether that’s online or also bricks-and-mortar stores,” he said.
Patronage back to pre-COVID levels
The council’s public and active transport committee on Tuesday heard patronage at both Lime and Neuron e-scooter rentals were back to pre-COVID levels of about 5,000 daily trips.
Public and active transport spokesman Ryan Murphy said there was an anecdotal “plateauing” of e-scooter collisions and incidents, attributed to improved technology and rider awareness.
Since July last year, 143 incidents had been reported on shared e-scooters, but the council did not track privately-owned e-scooter incidents.
“So making sure that e-scooters are available for people when they finish their bus journey, they can actually use an e-scooter to get to their home.”
E-scooters taking cars off the road
Griffith University transport innovation lecturer Matthew Burke said private e-scooters were “growing in number” and took cars off the roads.
“They’ve proven manageable for council and they’ve proven, I think, economically good for the city.”
The council will tender for a dockless e-bike scheme this year to replace the scrapped CityCycle scheme, which cost ratepayers about $16 million over a decade.
Opposition leader Jared Cassidy said the strategy was welcomed but should have been developed before e-scooters came to Brisbane in 2018.
“Adrian Schrinner went headlong into allowing e-scooters onto our streets,” he said.
“We’ve seen the results of that in some serious injuries and serious concerns of pedestrians about the interactions on our streets of these e-scooters.”
Mr Cassidy said Labor didn’t believe an e-bike scheme was needed to replace CityCycle and said the private sector could do “a lot better than council can”.