Transport options  |  21 Aug 2020

The number of e-scooters for hire in Christchurch will continue to be capped at 1600 but they will evenly split between two providers, rather than three, by the year’s end.

A new shared e-bike service for the city is also under investigation, with a trial likely later this year.

E-scooters were first offered for hire in Christchurch in late 2018 and immediately proved popular.

To balance the public demand for the e-scooters with the need to keep footpaths uncluttered, Christchurch City Council decided last year to cap the number of shared e-scooters permitted in the city at 1600.

Currently three companies hold permits to offer e-scooters for hire in Christchurch. Lime has a permit for 1000 scooters while Flamingo and Beam each have permits to operate 300 scooters.

“We want to give the e-scooter companies the best chance for success so we think it would be better if we have two companies operating in the city rather than three,’’ says the Council’s Head of Transport Richard Osborne.

“Our analysis shows that of three e-scooter companies operating in Christchurch, the scooters provided by Lime and Flamingo are the most heavily used. Primarily on that basis, we have decided that we will give those two companies permits for 800 e-scooters each.” Mr Osborne says.

“With the number of e-scooters in Christchurch currently capped at 1600 that means there is no capacity for Beam to continue operating in the city. We would like to thank Beam for their contribution,” Mr Osborne says.

Beam’s e-scooters will gradually be withdrawn by the end of the year.

In the meantime, the Council has agreed to investigate a trial of up to 200 e-bikes.

“Shared e-scooters proved very popular when they were first introduced in the city on a trial basis in August 2018. We want to see if people will also be keen to make use of shared e-bikes. This trial is a good way for us to see how a shared e-bike service might fit into our transport network,’’ Mr Osborne says.

Shared e-bikes were introduced in Auckland in February just before the lock-down. In the short time they have been on the streets they have been very popular.

A new shared e-bike service is under investigation for Christchurch.