13 June 2024

Hamilton’s wait for e-scooters for hire ends this Friday

By Gurbir Singh:

Hamilton’s wait for e-scooters for hire finally ends tomorrow, 23 August with the launch of operations by Lime scooters as part of a six-month trial approved by the Hamilton City Council.

Lime will introduce a total of 600 e-scooters for hire in Hamilton during the trial period. Around 200 of these will be arriving in Hamilton this Friday with the remaining e-scooters anticipated to arrive next week.

Lime scooters will be the first operator to have a presence in the city and will operate under a public places permit for six months. The Council expects to receive formal applications from other operators over the coming weeks and months.

Lime already has e-scooters in more than 100 cities across the world, including both Auckland and Christchurch.

The e-scooters will be able to be ridden throughout the city but will be focused on the central city, Hamilton East, Hillcrest and Hamilton Lake areas. They can be ridden on footpaths and roads and will eature geofencing which automatically reduces speeds in certain areas to make it safer for users and pedestrians. These areas include the central city entertainment and dining precinct, Garden Place and Centre Place and the speeds will be limited to 15kmh. There will also be low speed zones along the Waikato River.

“Safety is our number one priority and we’ll be working closely with Lime and any other providers coming to the city to monitor compliance and ensure the code of practice is upheld,” says the Council’s General Manager for Infrastructure Operations, Eeva-Liisa Wright.

There will also be a dedicated e-scooter parking zone at Hamilton Gardens. However, the devices will not be able to be ridden within the grounds of the Gardens, over the boardwalk section around Lake Rotoroa (Hamilton Lake Domain) or at Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park.

According to the operator’s terms and conditions, anyone aged 18 or older can use the e-scooters and users will be able to find and unlock them using an app on their phone. The e-scooters are dockless, which means they can be left anywhere safe within the city. A team of local “juicers” will be recruited by Lime to retrieve, charge and deploy the e-scooters each day.

“This initiative is about providing alternatives to cars for people making short trips around our city, honouring our commitment to being energy efficient and building stronger connections between key destinations”, says Eeva-Liisa Wright.

At the end of the six-month trial, the Council will be able to review and determine how many e-scooters will fit in the Hamilton market, the optimum number of providers and the areas of operation.

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