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E-scooters to hit Hamilton streets this Friday

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

E-scooters for hire will arrive in Hamilton this Friday (23 August) as part of a six-month trial approved by Hamilton City Council at the Growth and Infrastructure Committee Meeting on 18 June 2019.

Lime scooters will be the first operator to have a presence in the city and will operate under a public places permit for six months. The Council expects to receive formal applications from other operators over the coming weeks and months.

Lime has e-scooters in more than 100 cities across the world including both Auckland and Christchurch. They will introduce a total of 600 e-scooters for hire in Hamilton during the trial period. Around 200 of these will be arriving in Hamilton this Friday 23 August with the remaining e-scooters anticipated to arrive next week.

The e-scooters will be able to be ridden throughout the city but will be focused on the central city, Hamilton East, Hillcrest and Hamilton Lake areas. They can be ridden on footpaths and roads and will feature geofencing which automatically reduces speeds in certain areas to make it safer for users and pedestrians. These areas include the central city entertainment and dining precinct, Garden Place and Centre Place and the speeds will be limited to 15kmh. There will also be low speed zones along the Waikato River.

There will also be a dedicated e-scooter parking zone at Hamilton Gardens. However, the devices will not be able to be ridden within the grounds of the Gardens, over the boardwalk section around Lake Rotoroa (Hamilton Lake Domain) or at Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park.

According to the operator’s terms and conditions, anyone aged 18 or older can use the e-scooters and users will be able to find and unlock them using an app on their phone. The e-scooters are dockless, which means they can be left anywhere safe within the city. A team of local "juicers" will be recruited by Lime to retrieve, charge and deploy the e-scooters each day.

The Council’s General Manager for Infrastructure Operations, Eeva-Liisa Wright says: "This initiative is about providing alternatives to cars for people making short trips around our city, honouring our commitment to being energy efficient and building stronger connections between key destinations.

"At the end of the six-month trial we will be in a good position to determine how many e-scooters will fit in the Hamilton market, the optimum number of providers and the areas of operation, including restricted areas.

"Safety is our number one priority and we’ll be working closely with Lime and any other providers coming to the city to monitor compliance and ensure the code of practice is upheld.

"We’ll also be delivering a city-wide education campaign over the coming weeks to compliment the user training provided at the time of hire."

Further information can be found at www.hamilton.govt.nz/escooters

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