Another 300 electric scooters will soon be available to hire in Christchurch.
Christchurch City Council has given Singapore-based e-scooter company Beam a permit to operate in the city on a trial basis until the end of February 2020.
Beam plans to introduce a 300-strong fleet of scooters into Christchurch from mid-June.
In the spring, Wellington-based Flamingo Scooters also intends to begin offering 300 e-scooters for hire in Christchurch.
“Within the next few months we will have three electric scooter-share companies operating in Christchurch so there will be competition in the market and more e-scooters available to use on our roads and footpaths,’’ says Councillor Pauline Cotter, Chair of the Council's Infrastructure, Transport and Environment Committee.
Shared e-scooters have become popular in Christchurch since Californian-based e-scooter company Lime was given permission in October 2018 to operate its scooters in the city on a trial basis.
The trial proved so successful that in March this year the Council granted Lime a 12-month permit to trade in Christchurch and permission to add an additional 300 scooters to its 700-strong fleet.
The Council left the door open for other scooter share companies to join Lime in operating in Christchurch, but it capped the number of scooters permitted in the city at 1600.
With Beam and Flamingo both introducing fleets of 300 scooters each, the number of shared e-scooters in Christchurch will be at the capped level.
Beam Head of Public Affairs Brad Kitschke says the company is excited about expanding its operations and making Christchurch its first launch site in New Zealand.
“We’re going to be bringing a new e-scooter experience to Christchurch and we think the city’s e-scooter riders are going to love what we have to offer,’’ Mr Kitschke says.
Cr Cotter says e-scooters are a fun, quick way to get around but it is important that people using them ride safely and consider other road and footpath users.
“If you are using a scooter you need to ride considerately and travel at a safe speed. When you are finished with the scooter, please park it in a safe place, out of the way of pedestrians,’’ she says.