Eight-hundred dockless bikes will join a growing fleet of electric scooters on Brisbane streets within weeks, as the city council unveiled what it described as a world-first strategy for the sector.
Lord mayor Adrian Schrinner announced that Beam, which hosts its purple bikes and scooters in several other Australian cities, would take Lime’s place as the second company to step in with a pedal-powered replacement for the failed CityCycle scheme, along with Neuron mobility.
The council’s Labor opposition said the long-awaited strategy failed to address safety issues raised by pedestrian and disability groups around the vehicles’ use and parking on footpaths, or questions around enforcement when the devices were dumped in public spaces.
But Cr Schrinner insisted safety had been a key focus of the expansion, which has seen more than 4 million rides taken by 1.4 million people since the first scooters hit Brisbane streets in November 2018.
“Brisbane has been a leader in e-mobility. Following a competitive tender process, Neuron and Beam were chosen for their strong track record and commitment to safety and sustainability,” Cr Schrinner said.
“Every single person who jumps on an e-scooter or e-bike is one less car on our road, so this initiative is busting congestion and building a more sustainable Brisbane.”
Demand for the scooters surged back to pre-pandemic levels at the end of last year, as public transport patronage still lingers at 70 per cent.
Both companies will hold an equal share of the bikes set to appear on Brisbane streets from July 22, along with an expanded total of 2000 scooters, after a 50 per cent increase announced by the council last month.