The e-scooters that have been buzzing around the streets and footpaths of Christchurch over the summer look likely to stay.
The Infrastructure, Transport and Environment Committee has voted to recommend Christchurch City Council grant American bike and scooter share company, Lime Technology, a 12-month trading permit.
It is also recommending the Council allow Lime to increase the number of scooters in its Christchurch fleet to 1000 and that Council applies a standard rental charge for the use of the public land its scooters occupy.
ITE Committee Chair Councillor Pauline Cotter says Lime’s e-scooters have proved very popular with users since they were introduced into the city on a trial basis in October last year and the Committee is keen for them to stay.
“They are a fun and quick way for people to get around and they appear to have had a really positive impact, particularly in the central city, which is where they are getting the most use,’’ Cr Cotter says.
"More than 100,000 people have ridden the e-scooters during the trial and most users are using them in a careful and considerate manner.
“In the few months the e-scooters have been operating here they have become a popular alternative form of transport. We are very supportive of having them in Christchurch on a permanent basis as they fit with Christchurch being a modern, sustainable 21st century city.’’
A survey of 8000 residents in December and January found strong support for the continued operation of Lime scooters in Christchurch.
Cr Cotter says the permit fee the ITE Committee is recommending the Council charge Lime is consistent with the charges it applies to other commercial operators who use public space to conduct their business.
“We have to ensure the use of public space is managed fairly, which is why we are recommending the Council charge Lime the standard fee for the public space that its scooters occupy. We charge restaurants and cafes who have outdoor areas for the public space they occupy so it is only fair that we adopt a similar policy with regard to e-scooter operators,’ Cr Cotter says.
Data collection and monitoring of Lime's e-scooters will continue throughout the recommended period of the permit.