A NEW e-scooter hire company is coming to Hervey Bay, with the Fraser Coast Regional Council set to provide Beam Mobility with a year-long commercial permit.
The move comes after a recent trial of the transport option, which Council said had proven especially popular among 18 to 24-year-old residents commuting to and from work.
Some 50,000 rides were taken during the first 6-month trial by share-ride company Bird.
Following the trial, companies were called to submit expressions of interest for a commercial permit, taking into account issues raised during the trial period.
Issues included concerns around rider behaviour, parking and the use of helmets, among other things.
Division 4 Councillor Daniel Sanderson said Beam Mobility came out tops.
“The tender evaluation panel has recommended Beam Mobility as the preferred operator as they were assessed as the most capable of addressing community concerns. The commercial permit will be valid for 12 months, with the potential for two one-year extensions upon review,” Cr Sanderson said.
“To ensure acceptable public health and safety standards are met, Council decided to allow one commercial permit for shared e-scooters for up to 250 devices in Hervey Bay.”
Cr Sanderson said e-scooters provided a boost to the local economy, with many locals and visitors to the region giving them a go.
“E-scooters offer a low cost, environmentally friendly transport alternative and also lead to a reduction in traffic,” he continued.
Geofencing technology is used to ensure devices are speed limited and cannot be taken outside designated areas.
Commercial e-scooters for hire will be limited to Hervey Bay at this stage, with the Bird trial to cease and Beam Mobility to start operating instead within weeks.
Council will work with Beam to consider a potential trial in Maryborough in the future.
Beam Mobility currently operates commercial e-scooters throughout the Asia-Pacific region, with locations in Queensland including Brisbane, Port Douglas, Townsville, Magnetic Island and Mackay.
New Queensland Government laws around e-scooter use took effect at the beginning of the month.
The new rules provide for lower speeds on footpaths, increased fines for dangerous offences and mandated bells in addition to helmets and lights.
More details on the new rules are available at www.qld.gov.au/streetsmarts.
Public sentiment around e-scooters – commercial and privately owned devices – is divided on the Fraser Coast.
Some residents say e-scooters provide a new, modern and efficient way to get around town, while others believe they’re dangerous, pose a risk to pedestrians on footpaths and create tripping hazards when parked or left lying in public spaces.
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