THE way people commute along the Charlton Esplanade in Hervey Bay is changing.
A new e-scooter commercial trial was launched at Bill Fraser Park in Torquay this morning.
The trial will see a fleet of around 100 Bird e-scooters being used along the popular Esplanade between the Boat Harbour in Urangan and Point Vernon and then back into certain identified areas within the city.
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The six-month trial is Bird’s first commercial entry into Australia and its 300th city worldwide.
The local fleet will be managed by Bay Mobility Scooters.
The company’s Virginia McComish said she was excited to see the trial take flight in Hervey Bay.
“We are so excited to see more people get on e-scooters. It’s a great form of transport and will be really good for locals and visitors. It’s something that can change people’s lives,” Ms McComish said.
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Should the trial prove successful, there are plans to increase the number of Bird e-scooters operated within the program and expansion into Maryborough could also be on the cards.
Ms McComish said the e-scooters would be controlled by a ‘geo-fence’ system so they can only be used in certain areas and riders cannot exceed 25kmph. Speeds will drop down to 10kmph in busier or more congested areas.
She said e-scooters were becoming more popular in the region.
“As a retailer, Bay Mobility Scooters has definitely seen more people buying them.”
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Commuters hiring the e-scooters will need to download the Bird app before spreading their wings for the first time.
A QR code must be scanned to activate the trip and another to unlock the helmet.
“It costs $1 to open up the trip and then 45 cents per minute thereafter,” explained Ms McComish.
PHOTOS: Shaun Ryan / Good News Fraser Coast
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Fraser Coast Division 10 Councillor Zane O’Keefe said he was excited to see the trial launched in Hervey Bay.
“It’s a fantastic transport option for commuters. It will help reduce congestion, it’s great for the environment and good for the economy,” Cr O’Keefe said.
He said the program would benefit locals and visitors to Hervey Bay.
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“It uses technology we interact with everyday and gives us the opportunity to really explore the area.
“Once the trial is completed, we will analyse the data to determine whether it should be continued or expanded.”
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