You might have already seen them. The vivid green stand-up scooters parked on the sidewalk in the Valley and South Brisbane. Yes, they’re electric, and yes you can ride them. All it will cost is a $1 to unlock your wheels and then 30 cents per minute once underway.
Responsible is US company Lime, which has made waves in its homeland with the rapid expansion of its dockless scooter business. Its foray into Brisbane comes on a temporary permit, the Brisbane Times reports. The permit expires on December 31 and allows Lime to deploy 500 scooters in the Brisbane CBD, South Brisbane, West End, Fortitude Valley and immediate surrounding suburbs.
Lime has previously established operations in New Zealand and is currently trialling electric bikes in Sydney. The electric stand-up scooters have a 250-watt motor and can reach a speed of just over 23 kilometres per hour. Usage is much the same as dockless bikes — using the Lime app you locate a scooter, unlock it with a QR code and then take off. Once at your destination you park it out of the way and it locks itself. Easy.
The Queensland Government gave Lime a last-minute exemption from laws that would have otherwise made the scooters illegal. Before the exemption, riders could have been fined up to $10,444 for using a device that travels faster than 10 kilometres per hour and has an electric motor of more than 200 watts output.
The rules governing usage are predictably strict, according to the Times report: you can’t ride on the road except for crossing at intersections and avoiding obstructions, and use of on-road bicycle lanes is also not permitted. Footpaths, shared paths, separated paths and bicycle paths are all fair game, but you must give way to pedestrians and travel on the left-most side.
Additional passengers, using mobile phones and riding while boozed are all against the rules.
Otherwise, you have a new activity for the weekend.
To use a Lime scooter, download the Lime app.