Four e-scooter companies have been issued permits to operate in Palmy.
The permits allow operators to launch in the city from Monday 1 November. Three operators will be launching initially – Beam, Lime and Flamingo. A fourth operator – Blip Scooters – is planning to launch early in 2022.
Micro-mobility, such as e-scooters, enhances our innovative, growing and vibrant city. This type of transport choice is part of an integrated, multiple-option transport network that connects people with their destinations.
E-scooters are used to make a walking trip quicker or so people can travel further than they usually would on foot.
We expect people will use their common sense when sharing footpaths – be respectful and remember people of all abilities use these spaces.
We’re taking a two-stage approach to permits for e-scooters, with stage two being fit-for-purpose regulation. Read more about this below.
Who to contact
Contact the e-scooter operator if you have questions, complaints or concerns.
The permits outline an expected response period of 1 hour for parking causing a hazard. Operators have up to 2 hours to respond to reports of incorrect/non-hazardous parking during operational hours.
You can reach the operators through both phone and email contacts, or through their app on your smartphone.
You can also find the contact details on the scooters themselves.
If you have general concerns about e-scooters in Palmy, you can contact us directly. We’ll be monitoring this feedback closely over the initial weeks and months and may use this information to help us make changes as necessary.
Permits put safety first
Safety has been the key focus of the e-scooter permits. A key element of this is our ability to regularly review the permit and conditions, and to call it in where there are serious or emergency concerns and make changes as necessary.
Fleet operation rules
The operation and management of e-scooter fleets is the responsibility of the company running them. The Council’s role is to issue the permits and monitor that the permit rules are being followed.
We’re limiting fleet sizes to 200 e-scooters per provider. That doesn’t mean you’ll see this number of e-scooters on Palmy streets from day one. It is expected the numbers will slowly increase based on the user demand.
Hours of operation
E-scooter fleets will be able to operate between 6am and 9pm, seven days a week. We will review this after a few weeks and may make changes.
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.
Planning for the future
We're taking a two-stage approach for e-scooter operation permits.
E-scooter operators are being issued Mobile Trading Permits under the Signs and Use of Public Places Bylaw, and the Administration Manual. This allows us to impose conditions that protect and promote public health and safety. These permits will expire in November 2022.
The permits outline expected operational parameters, including minimum requirements when deploying e-scooters to ensure footpaths are unimpeded, preferred parking areas to encourage e-scooters to be parked in appropriate locations, and strict performance measures about e-scooters that may be parked or left to cause a hazard or nuisance.
We will create bylaw provisions specific for e-scooters, to be implemented from November 2022. This will include amending the bylaw, developing a code of practice for operators, and developing an evaluation and selection process for a request for proposal approach to issuing licences.