A plan to trial electric scooters in Hobart and Launceston has been unveiled.
The two major City Councils are seeking expressions of interest to find a suitable supplier and operator for a 12-month trial, which would operate on an app-based, user-pays basis within defined geographical zones.
“Electric scooters are convenient, compact, environmentally friendly and don’t contribute to the growing congestion on our roads,” Hobart Lord Mayor Anna Reynolds said.
In a remarkable coincidence, it came on the exact same day the Premier announced his own policy on the "micromobility" transport option, turning up to one of his last press conferences before the election on one.
The Liberals are promising to review the regulatory framework which prevents electric devices with a power output of more than 200 watts being used on footpaths or shared paths.
Electric scooters currently can't be registered for use on state roads either.
"Within 60 days of being re-elected, we’ll identify the amendments required to safely permit e-scooters and other types of personal mobility devices. This will make them lawful to be used on certain types of public infrastructure," Peter Gutwein said on Friday morning.
"Our hope is to see e-scooters parked outside our workplaces and schools, as we continue to lead Australia’s transition to a low emissions economy."
Mayor Reynolds confirmed neither she nor Launceston Mayor Albert Van Zetten had been informed of the Liberal plan, but welcomed the announcement and encouraged other parties to go down a similar path.
"I think it makes sense. These vehicles are now part of the landscape. You can buy them. These companies are offering a really good option for people to hire them for short journeys, so it's important we recognise they're out there and that the road rules accommodate them," Mayor Reynolds said.
Scooting to secure Tasmania’s future.— GutweinTeamMedia (@GutweinTeam) April 30, 2021
Our hope is to see e-scooters parked outside our workplaces and schools, as we continue to lead Australia’s transition to a low emissions economy. #politas #tasvotes https://t.co/o1n7E6HYCW pic.twitter.com/4KqbaMfTQq
Leading E-Scooter Operator Neuron Mobility quickly welcomed the announcements.
"We are excited at the prospect of being invited to partner with councils that may be considering an e-scooter trial sometime in the future,” Regional Manager Richard Hannah said.