7 Mar 2019

Lime e-scooters return to Auckland and Dunedin streets

7:33 pm on 7 March 2019

Lime e-scooters are back on the streets of Auckland and Dunedin after almost two weeks.

Lime e-scooters back on Auckland streets.

Lime e-scooters back on Auckland streets. Photo: RNZ/ Alex Perrottet

Auckland and Dunedin City Councils suspended Lime e-scooters after a braking glitch emerged with 30 people injured as a result, from around 150 incidents.

Last week, Auckland Council announced it and a third party consultant Exponent had inspected information from Lime showing the bug had been fixed, and Lime spent this week double and triple checking its fleet.

Today, a small number re-appeared on the streets.

Auckland Councillor Chris Darby said it was great to have them back, and the safety issue behind them.

"It's great to see Lime back on the streets and that they've passed the test Auckland Council required of them."

He said wider issues about safety, and their responsible use, would have to be looked at when the council decides if Lime should get a longer term licence.

Lime said it was "delighted" to be back in Auckland and Dunedin, despite the conditions placed on them by both councils in order to keep operating.

"Lime has accepted the conditions of Auckland Council and Auckland Transport and is committed to working in partnership with the city to provide a safe, affordable and sustainable transport option for the community," Lime spokesperson Lauren Mentjox said.

Lime has to inspect every single scooter, every week, and inform the councils about any problems within 24 hours. Any other serious problems around the world or in other New Zealand cities have to be passed on to Auckland Council within 48 hours.

Mr Darby said the council was in discussions with two other companies, which were looking at launching their own electric scooters.

"I'm aware that this is happening in major cities all around the world at the moment. There's a lot of interest in this new form of micro-mobility."

He said it was a good thing if fewer people were driving as a result.

"There's a place for them on the road, there's a place for them on footpaths, but not in close proximity at speed with pedestrians around.

"I'd like to see us invest more in infrastructure for cycling and e-scooters and whatever else is coming at it, like electric longboards... We need to get ready."

He said all of these issues would be looked at when the council decides if Lime's current trial licence should be extended longer term.

"This form of mobility is not going away and we are going to see more of it."

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