Melbourne, Australia is extending their electric scooter program for another six months according to the state government in order to gather more data to make a decision. Additionally, the cities Lord Mayor Sally Capp stated, "The extension of the e-scooter trial will allow extra time for providers to ensure e-scooters are incorporated into our transport network as safely as possible."
The end goal being to improve safety of all road users as well as those utilizing the sidewalk. Rules for the trial are simple: wear a helmet, not ride on footpaths, not carry passengers (one scooter, one rider), and follow the same alcohol, drug and mobile device rules as if they were driving a car. Cars are slowly being replaced with personal electric vehicles with Melbourne being a great example. The city said that roughly 30% of the trips taken by e-scooter replaced trips that would've been taking a car to their destination.
The main issue Melbourne is running into is enforcement of said rules and a way for issuing penalties or outright banning users who fail to follow them. Which is the one of the better ways to prevent unruly riders from being out on the road ruining the trial for people who actually utilize it. On one final note, this trial has allowed for the use of private electric scooters as well since a ban on them was lifted.
This unbanning of personal electric vehicles (PEV) will only stimulate the transition from cars to electric scooters and e-bikes. The next step in this process is supporting the growth with the proper infrastructure such as updating roads with bike lanes and adding bike paths where possible and appropriate. Hopefully, more cities and towns in Australia will follow Melbourne's lead should the program perform well in its extended months. Whichever PEV you end up choosing be sure to ride it safely and always wear a helmet.
Ride Together. Ride Happy. Ride GOTRAX!