Melbourne embraces e-scooters, partners with Lime and Neuron for 12-month trial starting today

    If you’re in Melbourne, then you can now take part in the largest e-scooter trial in the country. The City of Melbourne, City of Yarra and City of Port Phillip, which covers the vast majority of Melbourne, has launched a 12-month e-scooter trial today. The City of Ballarat is also taking part in the trial.

    With partners, Lime and Neuron, those looking for a new, environmentally friendly way to get around the city, can hire an electric scooter (and helmet) as one of the most cost-effective and fun ways to travel.

    As we detailed last month, there will be more than 750 scooters from Neuron and another 750 from Lime, for a total of 1,500 electric scooters available to use around Melbourne.

    “We’re delighted to partner with Lime and Neuron Mobility to make our city more accessible, attract more visitors and help people get around swiftly and safely. 

    The trial will provide another fun new way to get to your next meeting, meet people after work or explore our stunning city. 

    It’s going to be exciting seeing flashes of neon, orange and green on our streets, and we can’t wait to see people safely scooting about.” 

    City of Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp 

    ​For the next 12 months (from February 1st, 2022), Melbourne will trial the use of shared e-scooters to provide more information to the State Government and determine whether e-scooters can be safely regulated.

    E-scooter riders should behave the same way as bike riders and slow down to give way to pedestrians. There will be special ‘no go’ and ‘go slow’ zones where speed limits are restricted in high-traffic shared areas. 

    It’s important to note that E-scooters permitted under this trial are limited to 20 km/h, you must wear a helmet and obey all standard road rules (i.e. not cross on red lights etc).

    In some places, e-scooters will be speed limited to 10 km/h to allow low-speed access for people to continue their trips through certain areas. In certain other places such as pedestrian-only areas or high-speed roads, e-Scooters may be prevented from operating. 

    The details of many questions you have are listed below and on the City of Melbourne’s website, but the basic rules are this, don’t be an idiot, respect other people around you and slow down around other people. For this to be a success, everyone needs to have fun, but be sensible while riding.

    Personally, I love electric scooters and it’s great to see Melbourne joining a long list of cities around the world embracing them as a legitimate mode of transport.

    Riders will be able to book and use the e-scooters through the relevant mobile app, available from the App Store or Google Play and set up in a matter of minutes.

    Basic e-scooter rules

    • Wear a helmet.
    • Ride nicely. Give people space.
    • Travel at a safe speed for the environment.
    • Be respectful to pedestrians and other path users.
    • Ride to the conditions.
    • Consider others when parking.
    • No passengers.

    Before you jump on, check out the Victorian road rules for e-scooters.

    Where can I ride an e-scooter?

    E-scooters can travel on bike paths, separated and shared paths, and in bikes and on roads with a maximum speed limit of 50 km/h. 

    E-scooters are not permitted on footpaths and on roads with a speed limit of 60 km/h or higher, even if there is a protected bike lane. Where there is interaction between e-scooters and pedestrians, such as on shared paths, e-scooter riders should slow down and give way to pedestrians. 

    What are the rules?

    The riding of commercial e-scooters is limited to trial areas approved by the Victorian Government. There are specific guidelines for the trial and use of e-scooters which include:  

    • Commercial operators must have an agreement with participating councils for commercial shared e-scooters only.  
    • E-scooters are limited to low-speed roads (up to and including 50 km/h), bicycle lanes, bicycle paths, separated and shared paths (on the bicycle side, if specified).  
    • E-scooters are not permitted on footpaths (other than shared paths). 
    • E-scooters must have a maximum speed of, and not travel in excess of 20 km/h.  
    • E-scooter riders will be subject to blood alcohol content and drug use restrictions applying to other motorists under the Road Safety Act 1986
    • E-scooter riders must be at least 18 years of age. 
    • E-scooters are generally treated in the same way as bicycles in relation to brakes, warning device (bell), lights, reflectors, etc. 

    How much does it cost?

    One of our readers, Russ Keys has already tried out both e-scooter services this morning. Right now, Neuron is offering free rides to get things started but will offer multiple options.

    • 1-day pass will cost you $15, where you can ride as much as you want for 90 minutes in that day.
    • 3-day pass costs $8.33 per day
    • Weekly pass (7 days), that drops to $4.71 per day, which works out to $32.97 per week.
    • Monthly pass (30 days) for just $3.30 per day for a total of $99.00.

    If you live fairly close to work and were to commit to using these e-scooters for daily transport, that’s a bargain compared to the cost of running a car or even paying for parking in the city.

    The Lime offering seems a lot less inviting, with Russ travelling just 4.8km and getting charged $17.10, at that price, it’d be likely cheaper to get an Uber.

    Jason Cartwright
    Jason Cartwright
    Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021

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