The operation and management of e-scooter fleets is the responsibility of the company running them. Council’s role is to issue the permits and monitor whether the permit rules are being followed. We'll also be collecting anonymised data to understand how e-scooters are being used in Palmy.
Fleet sizes were initially limited to 200 e-scooters per provider. In April 2022 Councillors voted to remove the limit, to allow the market to determine what numbers are viable for Palmy.
Hours of operation
E-scooter fleets can operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It’s up to each operator to set their hours within this band.
There’ll be preferred parking areas and people will be encouraged to collect and drop-off an e-scooter from these points. The preferred parking areas will not be taking over any car parks at the moment, they’ll simply be places in the city marked in operators’ digital apps. We’ll be monitoring the effects of parked scooters in the city and scaling up as appropriate.
The permits require operators to ensure that e-scooters are parked safely and considerately. This includes requiring e-scooters to be parked at a 45-degree angle on paths when they deploy them, and that there is 1.5m of clear, unobstructed footpath width after they are placed. Operators must also equip their e-scooters with a sensor that alerts them when they are tipped over, so that they can respond quickly and right the scooter.
Operators will also encourage users to park e-scooters safely and considerately. This includes requiring users to take a photograph of their parked scooter. Operators will vet these photographs and can reward users for good parking, or suspend user accounts for repeated poor parking. Operators can also incentivise good parking, through credits for parking in preferred areas, which are less likely to obstruct footpaths.
The permits outline slow speed zones within the City Centre and areas of Memorial Park. In these areas, operators will need to make sure that their e-scooters cannot go faster than 15 km/h. E-scooter users won’t be able to override this. They will not be able to operate in parts of Victoria Esplanade near the playground and Junior Road Safety Park. Outside these GPS-confined zones, where spaces are less crowded, e-scooters will be able to go a little faster, up to 25km/h. Users should always ensure that their speed isn’t a hazard to other footpath users.
Each operator can set age limits for use of their e-scooters.
While a helmet isn’t compulsory when riding an e-scooter, they are recommended. Some operators may provide a helmet, or you can provide your own. If you scooter regularly, investing in a good-quality, well-fitting helmet may be a good idea.
Operators have agreed to run regular education campaigns about safe use of scooters.
Where you can use e-scooters
E-scooters are currently designated by Waka Kotahi as a wheeled recreational device. Under the Land Transport (Road User) Rule 2004, a wheeled recreational device can be used on the footpath provided it is operated in a careful and considerate manner, and not at a speed that is a hazard to other users. This means e-scooter users must give way to pedestrians and drivers of mobility devices on the footpath. This applies to shared paths too.
E-scooters can be used on the road, but must keep as close as possible to the edge of the roadway. E-scooters can’t be used on cycle lanes.
Some changes to the rules about where e-scooters can be used are being considered by Waka Kotahi, but they aren’t currently in effect.
The Police are responsible for enforcing rules around the use of vehicles on footpaths.