This Saturday, July 30, e-scooters will become legal in NSW for the first time – but only in four areas. Bungarribee Park, Lizard Log and Shale Hills in Western Sydney Parklands, and the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan will be the first places in the state to make shared e-scooters available. It’s part of a 12-month trial to test whether the micromobility vehicles should be permanently allowed on NSW streets.
New South Wales is the last state in Australia to legalise e-scooters; privately owned e-scooters remain prohibited both in the trial areas and across the state. Minister for active transport Rob Stokes said in a statement that the trial is restricted to shared scooters only, to ensure the safety of each device.
E-scooter riders are limited to travelling at 20kmh on bike paths and roads with a 50kmh speed limit, and 10kmh on shared paths. The two-wheelers won’t be allowed on footpaths, and you have to be 16 years or older to hire one.
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E-scooter companies Beam, Neuron and Lime will respectively operate in Shale Hills, Bungaribee and Lizard Log in Western Sydney Parklands. Bird scooters will be available in Mount Annan.
The process for hiring a scooter will be familiar to those who already use shared bicycle schemes: download the Beam, Neuron or Lime app, which will show you a map of where scooters are available to hire and ride.
“Like any new technology, e-scooters present us with enormous opportunities and several challenges to address before we can permanently permit them on our streets,” Stokes said in a statement. “This is why the NSW Government is committed to trialling them and why our parklands are the perfect location to start.”
Other councils can also apply to host a 12-month trial in partnership with e-scooter shared-scheme providers in their area. However, both the City of Sydney and Inner West Council have already opted out of the trials, due to existing road and path congestion.
Find out more about hiring an e-scooter in the Western Sydney Parklands here.
Intrigued about how shared e-scooters work? A Broadsheet Melbourne writer took one for a spin.