17 May 2020

E-scooters return to city streets after lockdown

2:38 pm on 17 May 2020

E-scooters are returning to the streets, but with new safety restrictions in place.

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Photo: Supplied

Since the country moved to alert level 2, companies have been reintroducing their e-scooters for public use.

New measures designed to give customers the confidence to be able to use the scooters without risking potentially spreading Covid-19, have been put in place by the separate companies.

Jacksen Love, the co-founder of Flamingo Scooters - which operates in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch - said they have designated teams of people going round to clean the scooters.

"You'll see us, our team out on the street, cleaning scooters between rides, and our software systems are completely tracking the sanitisation of every scooter," he said.

"At the moment we're sanitising scooters after every two to three rides, and then at three rides, that scooter is actually disabled."

He said it was crucial people had the confidence to be able to use their scooters.

"The public can be reassured the scooters out on the streets, are being cleaned regularly.

"Flamingo remains a safe way to travel, a safe mode of transport which does minimise your contact with others, and there are additional safety measures in place."

He said in the event someone contracted the virus, the app can be used for contact tracing to contact others who used the same scooter.

In other cities, however, the providers are holding off on the reintroduction of scooters.

In New Plymouth, for example, the homegrown provider, Blip said they would not be re-introducing scooters for another two weeks at least.

They engaged with their customers, and based on the feedback they received, they found the majority were not comfortable using the scooter during level 2.

For the larger companies, they have put in place significant mitigations to assist.

A spokesperson for Beam Scooters, which operates in Auckland and Christchurch, said "the health and safety of our riders is top of our minds".

"We will be closely following health advisory notices from the government. If anything changes that could risk the health of Beam customers we will act swiftly to keep everyone safe."

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