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Licensing to continue for rental e-scooters in Auckland

Published: 31 October 2019

The evaluation of rental e-scooters in Auckland is finished and a decision has been made about how to proceed with licensing.

Auckland Council and Auckland Transport intend to continue licensing shared e-scooters under the Trading and Events in Public Places Bylaw 2015 (the bylaw), with increased conditions.

The evaluation report that informed the decision is currently being formatted and finalised for publication and will be available in December.

Auckland Council’s Director of Regulatory Services, Craig Hobbs, says the council is cautiously optimistic about the future of micro-mobility in Auckland, and the e-scooter steering group’s decision making reflects this.

“As a mode of micro-mobility, e-scooters offer a viable transport solution for many Aucklanders moving around our city. They encourage people to connect with public transport and offer an alternative to cars for short trips,” says Mr Hobbs.

“That said, the benefits of micro-mobility options do need to be balanced with the safety of everyone on our footpaths and this has been paramount to our decision making around e-scooters.

“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.

“This is why we have agreed to license on a six-month basis moving forward. Part of the council’s approach is about acknowledging that regulating the safety and use of e-scooters on our streets ultimately sits with central Government. We are looking forward to an update from respective government agencies about e-scooter safety.”

Mr Hobbs says that part of the conditions for awarding a licence to all future operators includes an enhanced focus on safety and public nuisance concerns. Applications must meet the conditions of the bylaw and its associated e-scooter Code of Practice, and will also be assessed for any value-added initiatives they provide.

Improvements to the Code of Practice for the next licensing period will include further requirements in the areas of nuisance reduction, maintenance, and public safety.

“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,” adds Mr Hobbs.

To ensure the smooth transition between current and next phase of licensing, the council will have up to a six week licence roll over period from November 1 to receive, assess and approve new licences.

Other changes to e-scooter licence conditions include an increase in fleet size up to a maximum cap of 3200 e-scooters across Auckland. The biggest increase is in tier three, which is aligned with key transport outcomes. There will also be additional fees to operators moving forward for monitoring and compliance services.

Read more about Auckland Council and Auckland Transport e-scooter programme, including the work it has done alongside the ride-share trial, on OurAuckland.

Read more: Transport

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