E-scooters

1. Overview

Two private e-scooter hire-and-ride operators have begun operations in Launceston under a 12-month trial – Beam (purple) and Neuron (orange).

Under the terms of the trial, the operators are responsible for all aspects of managing use of their products in the City of Launceston area. The City of Launceston will monitor their operations as part of the trial agreement.

2. How to report an e-scooter issue

You can report e-scooter issues directly to the operators. They will act quickly on your feedback, and are also required to report all community concerns and messages to the City of Launceston monthly.

During the 12-month trial the Council encourages residents to provide feedback to the operators about rental e-scooters in Launceston, including aspects which are working well and those which need improvement.

To send your feedback or to report an e-scooter issue to the City of Launceston, please email: scooters@launceston.tas.gov.au

Please include your name, a contact phone number, and let us know if you give permission to pass on your details to one of the providers listed below. 

Alternatively, you can contact the companies directly yourself.

Beam (Purple)   

 

 
 

 

 Neuron (orange)  

 

 

 

3. About the trial

In late 2021, the State Government introduced regulatory changes legalising the use of micromobility devices, like electric scooters, in Tasmania.

The regulatory changes mean anyone 16 years of age or older can use an e-scooter in Tasmania as long as they wear a helmet and comply with all of the road rules, including speed limits.

Both privately owned e-scooters and hire and ride e-scooters can now be legally ridden on most footpaths, cycling trails and many local roads in Tasmania.

In anticipation of this legislative change, the City of Hobart and the City of Launceston invited expressions of interest from potential e-scooter hire operators for a 12-month trial of hire and ride e-scooters.

The trial does not encompass privately owned e-scooters.

The trial enables the councils to have some level of control over which hire and ride providers initially enter the e-scooter rental market and to collect data on use times, travel patterns, parking and incidents to further manage the regulation of micromobility devices in the future.

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4. Current exclusions

The 12-month trial will begin in a limited capacity in Launceston, with e-scooters continuing to be prohibited in the central CBD and in some key parks and trails. Both the Beam and Neuron apps contain details on exclusions.

5. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

What are e-scooters?

E-scooters, or electric scooters, are a lightweight electric powered vehicles that are used in many parts of the world as a 'last mile' commuting transport option, and as a tourism transport option. They are variously known as Personal Electric Vehicles, micromobility devices or (under most Australian legislation) Personal Mobility Devices (PMDs).

 

Why introduce e-scooters to Tasmania?

In mid-2020, e-scooter providers Neuron Mobillity and Beam approached the State Government and Tasmanian Local Governments seeking to commence operation in a number of Tasmanian cities.

The State Government has been supportive of enabling e-scooter providers to operate in Tasmania.

In December 2021, the State Government introduced regulatory changes legalising the use of micromobility devices, like electric scooters, in Tasmania.

The introduction of micromobility transport options aligns strategically with the Greater Launceston Transport Vision and Work Plan and the Draft Launceston Transport Strategy.

E-scooters will provide residents and tourists with more convenient transport options, while reducing emissions, congestion, and demand for car parking.

Who will be able to ride e-scooters in Tasmania?

The Tasmanian Government has introduced a regulatory framework which allows anyone 16 years of age or older to ride a PMD, if they are wearing a helmet and following all road rules, including speed limits.

Where can they be used?

E-scooters will be able to be used at defined speed limits on most local roads, footpaths, shared paths and bicycle paths. They will not be able to be used on any road with a speed limit above 50 km/h.

The City of Launceston has required hire-and-ride vendors to demonstrate the geofencing capabilities of their systems. Geofencing is used to prevent the operation of e-scooters, or limit their speed, in certain locations.

It can temporarily allow or disallow e-scooters, for instance during certain events, or near nightclubs and bars on certain nights of the week.

 

What is geofencing?

Geofencing means the ability to use a GPS locator to control where and at what speed a device can operate by limiting or stopping it if it strays outside defined geographical boundaries.

 

How will responsible riding be encouraged?

The City of Launceston has required hire-and-ride vendors to demonstrate how they will encourage responsible riding.

Their methods include training periods for new e-scooter riders, which would limit the speed and power of e-scooters for a defined period; the completion of an online safety tutorial and technology and incentives designed to strongly encourage helmets.

E-scooters may soon be fitted with safety innovations such as AI-based pedestrian identification.

They are already fitted with dangerous rider behaviour detection, which creates app-based rider alerts, fines and customer bans to promote respectful e-scooter etiquette and riding.

 

How will responsible parking of e-scooters be encouraged?

The City of Launceston has required hire-and-ride vendors to demonstrate how they will prevent unused e-scooters cluttering our streets and public spaces.

The methods agreed include the establishment of dedicated parking spaces for e-scooters in the city, suburbs and at visitor hotspots, and financial incentives for people to park e-scooters responsibly.

It also includes the use of technology to prevent e-scooters being parked near waterways or other sensitive areas.

Incorrectly parked e-scooters, or e-scooters that have been knocked over will be detected by on-board sensors and retrieved by the vendors’ field support technicians.

 

 

 

How will e-scooters be maintained and monitored?

Hire-and-ride e-scooter vendors have had to demonstrate their plans to collect, charge and monitor their e-scooter fleets.

Their methods include regular cleaning and sanitising, regular collection and charging, and regular redistribution of e-scooters to high use areas or proper parking locations.

On-board technology assists vendors to ensure that e-scooters are safe and ready to ride.