Sydney Begins New Electric Scooter Trial

Sydney Begins New Electric Scooter Trial - GOTRAX

Earlier this year, Sydney, Australia’s most populous city, launched a new trial for rental electric scooters. Sydney isn’t the first Australian city to do so; we’ve discussed Melbourne's e-scooter trial in the past, which extended for the third time in October. However, the adoption of a shared e-scooter program in such a large city is promising news for e-scooter riders of all kinds, especially in the wake of recent bankruptcies and shutdowns in major rental companies.

According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, sixty scooters have been deployed in Kogarah, one of the city’s suburbs. Rides on these scooters come with a number of key regulations and guidelines designed to ensure safety. Among other rules, the scooters have a set speed limit depending on where they're being used, are only allowed to be operated in certain trial areas, and can’t be ridden on sidewalks. In addition, they can only be used on roads with speed limits of 50 kilometers per hour, or about 30 miles per hour. While you don't need a driver's license to use the shared e-scooters, riders must still be at least 16 years old.

Of course, as with any e-scooter trial, there are concerns about the safety and the effectiveness of the program, though the speed and usage limitations that have been put in place for this trial help to address some of these worries. As a contrast to many other recent e-scooter programs, however, some actually worry that the program in Sydney is too restrictive: with only 60 scooters in the whole trial area, there are limited opportunities to give one of these rides a try. And while shared e-scooters may be legal to ride on certain public roads, personal e-scooters are still illegal to ride outside of private property in New South Wales. 

Ideally, the introduction of this new shared e-scooter trial will lead to an expanded e-scooter program in the city and, eventually, the ability for riders to get around town on a personal electric ride of their own. For now, though, we’re excited to see new trials emerge in major cities all over the world. Electric scooters and bikes are a fantastic alternative to traditional motor vehicles for everyday transportation, and shared e-scooter trials like this one are an important first step to making these alternative modes of transit accessible to riders of all kinds.

We just hope that all riders, no matter where they journey, remember to stay safe, follow the rules of the road, and always wear their helmets.

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