Neuron Mobility will operate e-scooters throughout the Bundaberg Region for a further 12 months after Bundaberg Regional Council approved an extension of its permit.
The presence of the commercial e-scooters for hire were found to have many economic and social benefits for the region.
This included assisting people to commute to work, shopping, appointments, visit friends, discover tourist attractions and simply enjoy the outdoors.
Direct economic benefits included Neuron Mobility’s employment of 18 staff to service the scooters.
Neuron Mobility operates 325 e-scooters in defined areas of Bundaberg, Bargara and Burnett Heads.
In making the decision to extend the approval, Council also considered the results of a survey which saw more than 2000 residents and visitors respond.
Sport and Recreation portfolio spokesperson Cr Vince Habermann said the survey revealed 64 per cent of respondents wanted the service to continue.
“We understand that there is a high level of community interest in the continuation of commercial e-scooters for hire,” Cr Habermann said.
“This was reflected in the level of participation on this survey which provided an opportunity for residents to voice their concerns in addition to some interesting insights into how e-scooters have positively impacted many residents.
“For instance, according to respondents more than 100 people rely on the e-scooters for daily travel while a further 186 people use them weekly”
“While most people use the e-scooters to enjoy the outdoors, 215 respondents said they used the e-scooters to travel to work and 181 used them to travel to or from appointments.
“In addition to this use by residents, the survey revealed benefits for tourism with 285 people using e-scooters to travel to a tourist attraction.”
Of the total respondents, 1383 people – or 64.2 per cent – said they wanted e-scooters for hire to remain available in the region, while 28.2 per cent said they did not and 7.6 per cent remained unsure.
The top concerns raised by survey respondents were rider behaviour, user safety and impacts on access and mobility to other members of the community.
“By approving a 12-month permit extension this allows Council to gain further understanding of the impacts of the proposed Queensland Government reforms on the concerns raised before a long-term decision is made.
“Throughout this extension period we will also further investigate formalised e-scooter parking locations within the CBD as well as other initiatives to improve safety and accessibility within the CBD precinct.”
According to Neuron over 300,000 trips have taken place since launching in April 2021 with close to 800,000 km travelled.