1 Sep 2018

A wheely good way to get around the city

3:03 pm on 1 September 2018

Christchurch may soon have hundreds of electric scooters whizzing around the town, if an application for consent is approved by the city council.

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Photo: Supplied

Lime Technology has asked the council to allow it to operate 700 e-scooters on a user pays basis, with that amount set to double if the demand was there.

Christchurch City Council Strategy and Transformation general manager Brendan Anstiss said the scooters would be distributed throughout the city and would be a cheap and fun way for people to get around.

"They'll cover almost all of the area and the great thing is [Lime] will pick them up at night, charge them and then distribute them back in the morning," he said.

"They put them around places where people are more likely top start, so around homes and that and then they redistribute them during the day so people will be able to get almost all the way around Christchurch."

The scooters have a 300-watt motor, a 48-kilometre range and a top speed of 27 kilometres per hour. They are fitted with front and rear lights, brakes and a bell.

Mr Anstiss said the council would vote on Lime's application for an operating licence on Thursday.

If it was approved a three-month pilot to test the scheme could start immediately.

"It's going to be up to Lime about how quickly they launch but Spring's a pretty cool time in Christchurch so they want to get in and we're hopeful they'll get it up pretty quickly."

Mr Anstiss said payment would work similar to Uber's model.

"You have an app on your phone, log in and create an account and all you do is swipe your smartphone and it knows who you are and unlocks the scooter and you're good to go."

"We think they'll be a good supplement to public transport or just getting around the city, like $1 to e-scooter around Hagley Park, that sounds like great fun to me."

He said the pilot would allow Lime and the council to work through any issues.

"The benefit of [Lime's] licence is that we've got pretty tight KPIs that require the scooters aren't left in dangerous areas, make sure they're collected from any private property and service and charge them all overnight."

"Obviously you can't plan for stupidity or people that are out to vandalise the property but the e-scooters will get collected every night. They also have alarms on them so that if they're picked up and tried to be moved without a log in then an alarm goes off."

After the pilot the council will vote again as to whether the licence would be extended.

Lime Technology owns and operates e-scooter services across the US and Europe.