Getting around, Transport options  |  8 Feb 2019

Christchurch City Council staff are recommending that Lime Technology is granted a 12-month trading permit so it can continue operating its e-scooters in the city.

Last October the Council granted the American bike and scooter share company a three-month trading permit so it could operate its e-scooters in Christchurch on a trial basis.

A woman in the central city on a Lime scooter.

Most Lime scooter trips are less than 10 minutes and are concentrated in the central city and around Hagley Park.

With that trial period now over, Council staff have prepared a report for the next week’s Infrastructure, Transport and Environment Committee meeting that recommends that the Council grant the company a 12-month trading permit.

The report also recommends that:

  • The Council allow Lime to increase the number of scooters it operates in Christchurch from 700 to 1000.
  • The Council charge Lime a small rental fee for the public land its scooters occupy. 

The proposed fee would be structured similarly to the rental fees that apply to cafes and restaurants who have outdoor dining areas that encroach into public spaces. For example, assuming that each scooter takes up half a square metre of footpath, Lime would have to potentially pay a fee of $86.25 a year for each of its scooters.

The report says that over the trial period Lime scooters have had very high rates of usage when compared with similar sized cities.

“To date, there have been over 400,000 trips taken by more than 100,000 people in Christchurch. Utilisation has been very high throughout the trial, with each e-scooter being used approximately seven times per day on average,’’ it says.

An online survey conducted by the Council shows three-quarters of respondents feel the e-scooter trial has had a positive or very positive effect on the city, with Lime e-scooter users much more positive at 93 per cent than non-users at 58 per cent.

A similar number (74 per cent) think that e-scooter share companies should probably or definitely be allowed to operate in Christchurch after the trial.  Users were much more likely to want this (93 per cent) than non-users (56 per cent).

Read the full report on the e-scooter permit recommendations.