‘More work to do’: e-scooter trial extended

E- Scooters
Riders in the Melbourne CBD breaking the one-person-per-scooter and helmet rules in September 2022. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Crosling

Shift workers in particular are using e-scooters across Melbourne and Ballarat, as the state government yet again extends a large data-collecting trial.

Since February 2022, the Victorian government has been tracking e-scooter use in three Melbourne council areas, the City of Ballarat and shared scooter companies Lime and Neuron.

“We have more work to do on safety and compliance to ensure that e-scooters are safe when they’re made permanent later this year,” Public and Active Transport Minister Gabrielle Williams said.

E- Scooters
Privately-owned scooters cannot be capable of exceeding 25km/h. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Crosling

The long-running trial shows in the Yarra, Melbourne and Port Phillip council areas there are 1247 scooters for hire.

Since the trial started, 7.7 million trips have been ridden.

The average trip speed is 9km/h, with e-scooters only allowed to be ridden in bike lanes, bike paths and roads with a 60km/h limit.

“E-scooters are here to stay – they’ve proven popular among commuters, especially shift workers, providing an additional option to travel home safely,” Ms Williams said.

There are an estimated 100,000 privately owned e-scooters in use in Victoria.

In extending the program previously, Ms Williams and Road Safety Minister Melissa Horne signalled the longer the trial, the better the data.

“While we’ve undertaken extensive trials on e-scooters under the shared rider scheme, we’re taking the time to analyse the use of private e-scooters to ensure our roads are as safe as possible,” Ms Horne said in October.