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107,000km clocked up around Christchurch

Jack Loader

Lime e-scooters have travelled 107,000km around the city. After almost 100 ACC e-scooters related claims, Safety concerns have been raised.


American scooter-share company Lime officially launched just over two weeks ago after being granted a permit by Christchurch City Council to operate scooters in the city on a trial basis.

The scooters are spread throughout Christchurch and can be left anywhere. Users find, unlock, and pay for them using an app.

About 400 scooters, made and operated by California-based Lime, are in Christchurch and 500 in Auckland. Those numbers will rise to 700 and 1000 respectively in the near future. They can travel at speeds of up to 27kmh and have a maximum range of 48km. 

Safety concerns raised by Auckland City councilor Christine Fletcher after she was almost run down by one of the e-scooters has prompted the Auckland City Council to look into the regulatory framework for e-scooters, like Lime scooters. Fletcher thinks e-scooter technology has a place in the city but options that can mitigate safety issues need to be looked into.

ACC Statistics show that in the first two weeks of operation in Auckland and Christchurch, there were 89 electric scooter injury claims, with many being serious injuries like fractures or lacerations. 

E-scooter injuries since October 14th
Laceration/puncture 37
Soft tissue injury (strain, sprain, contusion) 34
Fracture/dislocation 18
Concussion/brain injury Less than 4

At the start of November, more than 30,000 people in Christchurch had downloaded the app and taken at least one trip. Collectively the scooters have been used for more than 87,000 trips. On average, riders travelled less than 1km.

Renting one costs $1 plus 30 cents a minute, the equivalent of $18 an hour. The scooters are aged restricted to people over 18 but, many underage people have been seen riding them around the city.  

The 3-month trial is still in its early stages but the scooters are getting lots of use, particularly in the central city. Christchurch City Council Transport Operations Manager, Steffan Thomas said.

“They are proving a popular way of getting around. But we’ll need to do a thorough assessment of their impact before we decide whether to extend the permit beyond the trial period,’’ Thomas said.

Lime rider, Caitie Heath-Anderson, is making use of the discount codes that make it cost next to nothing to ride. 

“They’re so much fun and it’s a great environmentally friendly and fun way to get around the city.” She said.

 Lime’s trial permit is due to expire in Christchurch on January 15 but the Christchurch City Council is likely to grant an extension through until February, which is when Council staff are due to bring a final report on the trial to the Infrastructure, Transport and Environment Committee.

MetroNews requested a statement from Lime several days ago about safety concerns but they did not respond. 

 

 

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