Christchurch City Council is scoping the market for companies interested in providing e-bikes and e-scooters for public hire.
Two companies - Lime and Flamingo – currently hold permits to rent out e-scooters in Christchurch but their permits are due to expire at the end of August.
Lime also has a permit to operate up to 200 e-bikes in the city. That permit, which was issued by the Council on a trial basis, is also due to expire at the end of August.
“We’ve gone out to the market seeking expressions of interest from companies keen to provide e-bike and e-scooter services in Christchurch moving forward,’’ says Council Transport Operations Manager Steffan Thomas.
“We want to have two e-scooter providers operating in the city, each with a fleet of up to 800 scooters. The new permits that will be granted will be for 12 months, but there will be an option to extend them for a further two years.
“The companies awarded the permits for e-scooters will also each get permits to operate up to 200 e-bikes in the city,’’ Mr Thomas says.
“The use of e-scooters in Christchurch has dropped slightly since our borders closed to international visitors, but they are still very popular here. They and e-bikes have proven a useful addition to our transport network because they make it easy for people to take short trips around the city and connect to other transport modes for longer trips.''
Companies have until 16 July to register their interest in obtaining a permit.
“Safety will be a strong focus of the assessment process. It is very important to us that providers of e-bikes and e-scooters act responsibly and do all they can to encourage users to travel and park safely,’’ Mr Thomas says.
E-scooters in Christchurch can be ridden on footpaths and shared paths, as well as roads. When e-scooters are ridden on footpaths, users need to be considerate and ride at speeds that keep everyone safe. They also need to give way to pedestrians and people on mobility devices.