31 Oct 2019

Auckland e-scooter operators to gain license on six-month basis

4:53 pm on 31 October 2019

Auckland's e-scooter operators will be able to have their licenses extended for six months at a time, with the council cautiously optimistic about their future in the city.


E-scooter. Photo: 123RF

An Auckland Council steering group has finished its evaluation of rental e-scooters and decided to again extend their licenses with additional conditions.

The evaluation report is being finalised for publication and will be available in December.

Part of the increased conditions on operators include a bigger focus on safety and public nuisance concerns through an improved e-scooter Code of Practice.

Applicants must meet conditions of the bylaw, and will also be assessed for any value-added initiatives.

Other changes to the licence conditions include an increase in fleet size up to a maximum cap of 3200 e-scooters across Auckland.

There will also be additional fees to operators for monitoring and compliance services.

Council regulatory services director Craig Hobbs said the benefits of e-scooters needed to be balanced with the safety of people on the footpaths.

"While we have little influence right now on the rules for where e-scooters can be ridden, how fast they can go and whether or not people need to wear helmets, we have done as much as we can to promote public safety," Mr Hobbs said.

"This is why we have agreed to license on a six-month basis moving forward."

He said regulating e-scooters ultimately rested with central government, and the council was calling for it to introduce a regulatory framework for both private and rental scooters.

"One of our immediate priorities moving forward includes advocating to central government on safety and the need for a regulatory framework for e-scooters - both private and rental," Mr Hobbs said.

The council will have up to a six-week licence roll over period from 1 November to receive, assess and approve new licences.

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