Sydney E-Scooter Trial Axed Before It's Rolled Out
A trial of share electric scooters for Sydney has been axed, even as a government department continues work on planning for its rollout.
NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance ruled out the trial of e-scooters in an interview aired by 10 News First on Thursday.
“I'm not going to allow the e-scooter companies to pollute Sydney in the same way they have around the world,” he said.
“It's a disgrace.
"You should see the cities of Europe, the cities of America, littered with these e-scooters, a lack of care, polluting the streets, putting people at risk.
"Paris is a disaster zone when it comes to e-scooters.”
Over the past year bureaucrats within Transport for NSW have been working with at least half a dozen local councils, police and e-scooter companies on a framework for the trial.
Their report to Constance is likely to be handed over next year and is expected to detail what legislative or regulatory changes need to be made to allow a trial of the e-scooters in pockets of Sydney or a regional area, such as Newcastle.
But Constance appears to have made up his mind already.
“Ultimately they're not going to form any part of the transport solution in our city. They're a danger to the community, they're a danger on the roads, they're dangerous on footpaths, and they're dangerous generally,” he claimed.
“It's unacceptable and we're not going to bring that here.”
His comments were a disappointment to e-scooter sharing company Lime, which has already rolled out its scooters in Brisbane and begun a trial in Adelaide.
“Just here in Australia we’ve had close to four million rides of e-scooters”, said Lime’s head of government relations for Asia Pacific Mitchell Price.
“Now’s the time for the NSW Government to show leadership. We’ve been engaged for over 12 months now and communities are crying out for solutions."
Current NSW laws prohibit the use of e-scooters in any public place including roads, footpaths, shared paths and in parks.
The electric scooters cost $1.00 to start and then charge a per-kilometre rate. Users unlock the scooters by scanning a QR code using their phone.
E-scooter rollouts in European and American cities by Lime and fellow sharing company Bird have been controversial, with websites filled with images and videos of accidents, near misses, and scooters being fished out of waterways.
“Whilst we might look at private use in bike lanes, we are not going to look at the e-scooter businesses to trash the streets of Sydney in the same way they have trashed streets around the world,” Constance claimed.