Concern is growing over a trial launched by Brisbane City Council and the Queensland government to allow commuters to ride e-scooters and e-bikes to selected bus and ferry terminals in a bid to ease traffic congestion.
- Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey says e-scooters are now part of the public transport system
- The council says the trial will make accessing parts of Brisbane easier
- Morningside councillor Kara Cook says some residents are concerned about safety
Rolling out from November 14, the 12-month trial involves the use of electric mobility devices around Bulimba and Hawthorne to access those suburbs’ ferry terminals, and on streets around Buranda, Greenslopes and Holland Park West busway stations.
“There have been more than 8.4 million trips on shared e-scooters since late 2018 including more than three million trips in the past financial year,” council’s transport committee chairman Ryan Murphy said.
“If residents can use an e-bike or e-scooter to get to the busway or ferry terminal, it will eliminate the need for an unnecessary short car trip and in turn reduce congestion.
“What might be too far to walk, especially in the heat of a Brisbane summer, can be a quick trip on an e-bike or e-scooter.
“This trial will assess whether Brisbane residents are keen to use shareable e-mobility devices as first and last-mile solutions.”
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said e-scooters were “now part of our transportation system”.
“We need to keep working at getting the balance right in terms of their safe use within the public transport system,” he said.
Cr Murphy said the three busways chosen for the trial would be serviced by the Brisbane Metro from 2024.
Speed, volume concerns
Morningside Ward council representative Kara Cook said residents had already raised worries about the lack of infrastructure, speed limits and journeys through popular pedestrian areas.
She has organised a meeting to gather feedback from the community.
“There has been zero consultation with local residents about this rollout in the Morningside Ward,” Cr Cook said.
“Residents have already raised concerns about high pedestrian activity areas, particularly around Oxford Street.
“We also have four large schools within the trial zone where there are currently inadequate footpaths and safety infrastructure which need to be addressed as part of any trial.
“We’re not talking about 20 scooters, we’re talking about potentially hundreds in what is actually quite a small geographic area in a corridor along the river.”
Cr Cook said council officers and e-scooter providers would attend a meeting on November 9 from 7-8pm at the Bulimba Bowlo and provide more information.
Those interested can RSVP by email.
New models unveiled
Cr Murphy said e-mobility providers Beam and Neuron would also be delivering e-bike and e-scooters in Balmoral, Bulimba, Hawthorne, Morningside, Coorparoo and Norman Park.
“This new offering will make it easier for people to connect to Oxford Street at Bulimba and the Wynnum Road Bikeway, as well as our ferry terminals along the Bulimba peninsula,” he said.
The council will implement designated parking areas at or near key locations in the trial zones and designated “no riding” and “no parking” zones – such as busway platforms and ferry gangways – will be enforced.
The trial starts as Beam unveils its latest e-scooter model, the Saturn 5 e-scooter, which uses satellite data and information gathered from the vehicle’s own systems.
Five hundred vehicles will be provided for the trial.
The company’s research showed 40 per cent of Beam riders were more likely to consider public transport as an option for long journeys if they had the option to rely on e-scooters and e-bikes for first and last parts of the trip.
Brisbane City Council has also confirmed the Citylink Cycleway in Brisbane’s CBD will remain in place, providing riders with a dedicated active transport route.