New operators announced for e-scooter licences

Auckland Council and Auckland Transport have selected four preferred operators to receive licences to operate rental e-scooter businesses in Auckland for the next six months.

Auckland Council Director Regulatory Services Craig Hobbs says eight licence applications were received and four operators have been offered licences.

“We went into this application process expecting to grant three or four licences and have chosen four ‘preferred’ operators.

“Each has been notified that their application was successful and have provisionally accepted the licence conditions. We are now in the final discussions with the operators before we complete the paperwork and issue the licences,” he says.

The successful operators are JumpNeuronBeam and existing operator Flamingo.

Each successful operator has received a letter confirming its application, the e-scooter allocation per tier and any additional conditions or initiatives that were proposed in their application. Once formally accepted by the operator and licence fees are paid, the new licence will be issued.

Mr Hobbs has highlighted some of the key areas that the project team, in making its selection, has focussed on.

“The successful applications included higher quality strategies around influencing user behaviour to improve safety outcomes and reduce potential nuisance.

“As with each phase of our e-scooter programme, safety remains paramount. This includes safe use of the devices, through maintenance programmes and reporting requirements, and continuation of geo-fencing (slow speed zones).

“We have also explored a number of enhanced initiatives, including the deactivation of scooters outside of licensed hours, a curfew in entertainment areas and parking enforcement and initiatives.

“This highlights our focus on ‘nuisance factors’ around e-scooter use and our commitment to balancing the increasing popularity of micro-mobility with the needs of non-users.

 “As always, riders should follow the terms and conditions they agree to when renting an e-scooter, wear a helmet and ride safely,” says Mr Hobbs.

The council and AT will continue to advocate to the Ministry of Transport and NZTA to reassess current regulations around speed, where e-scooters can be ridden and the use of helmets.

Scooter ‘fleet’ to increase

“We have increased the number of e-scooters available to rent,” says Mr Hobbs.

“Overall, up to 3,200 rideshare e-scooters can be available for use in Auckland, however these are spread across three tiers (inner city, outer city and the remainder of the region), with the greatest increase in allocation in tiers two and three.

“This allows more people to use e-scooters to travel between home and public transport hubs or in outer suburbs,” he says.

Previously the cap was set at 1,875. Final numbers and tier allocations, along with licence fees, will be confirmed once licences are finalised.

Unsuccessful applications

Four of the eight applicants have been informed that their licence applications were unsuccessful. The two applicants that are currently licensed to operate in Auckland will be required to deactivate their e-scooters by midnight on Monday 2 December and have all devices off the streets by Friday.

Assessment of applications

Applications were assessed against the requirements of the Trading and Events in Public Places Bylaw and were considered to ensure that the applicants could demonstrate the ability to comply with the Rental E-scooter Code of Practice (version 3).

New licences will start from Tuesday 3 December and we expect operators to introduce their products during December.

Read more about the council and AT’s approach to e-scooters here, including research and engagement we have done, and how national regulations around e-scooter use are currently controlled.

Read more about our last trial here.

About Flamingo

Flamingo is a dockless electric scooter-share company based in Wellington. The company was founded in June 2018 and is a participant in Wellington City Council’s e-scooter trial.

Flamingo was granted a licence for 525 e-scooters during our last trial (May- October 2019).

About Neuron

Founded in 2016, Neuron Mobility claims to be Southeast Asia’s leading shared electric scooter service. The company currently operates in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and Australia. Auckland is Neuron’s first New Zealand market.

About Beam

Beam is the largest micro-mobility company in Asia-Pacific, founded in 2018. The Singapore-based currently operates in Christchurch, as well as South Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan and Australia.

About Jump

Jump began as a bike-share company and is now owned by Uber and offers both bikes and e-scooters. It currently offers e-scooters in Wellington.

Press
Author: Press