In addition to the thousands of private owners of electric KickScooters already going about their business and daily commute across cities in New Zealand (including Xero’s Rod Drury), CBDs in Auckland and Christchurch are about to receive 3,000 ‘sharing scooters’ from Lime and Onzo.
The NZ Herald has run an article Scooter etiquette a must for Auckland that raises a number of very interesting points. While it suggests “…an adjustment by citizens” – including pedestrians, drivers of motor vehicles and scooter users themselves, it points out that we’ve all been through this before and it worked out well. The example? The supermarket trolley.
While the supermarket trolley was potentially problematic, the practicality and efficiency it provides overwhelmingly supports its continued use and our society had little difficulty embracing a social etiquette that supported and engrained its continued acceptance. Today, can anyone seriously ponder buying a week’s worth of shopping at the supermarket check-out then having to make a dozen or more trips back and forth to their car parked some distance away?
It may be that lessons learned from the humble supermarket trolley may help Auckland and Christchurch embrace the new future of e-scooters.
While there was the facility for trolleys to be misused and littered around car parks and streets, the systems adopted by supermarkets evolved into something easy for patrons to use and easy return of the trolleys to parking bays. She envisages something similar developing with e-scooters.
“People will have to get used to them but the etiquette could grow in the same way as most of us now return the shopping trolleys to the bays. There will have to be some recognition by scooter uses about responsible use…It will take an adjustment from pedestrians too – making sure they are aware of what is around them.”
NZ’s road user rules for Wheeled Recreational Devices require riders to be courteous and ride at speeds that are not dangerous to others, and give way to pedestrians and mobility device users. We also believe it is polite to say “Excuse me” or “I’m coming past on your right/left” when approaching someone from behind – just as you might if you were walking or jogging at a pace faster than a person walking more slowly in front of you.” Easy, huh?
While the sharing scooter business model is to have all of the kickscooters picked up at the end of the day, recharged overnight, then dropped off at dawn at locations known to require the most demand, overseas some companies have already introduced an alternative: users are paid a credit to bring the KickScooter home and recharge it. According to the NZ Herald, Onzo is may introduce this option immediately.
Lime and Onzo have agreements in place with local councils, and are working with them to ensure deployment is smooth and well-managed. This is a different strategy than was used in some US markets earlier this year, where kickscooters were simply dumped into some cities without permission (the so-called Uber business model). In a few places overseas this resulted in temporary bans some months later, until permits were issued. However, in every city they can be found (and we’re talking more than 100 cities worldwide already) the humble KickScooter has proved itself to be overwhelmingly useful. That’s right: useful.
The NZ Herald has run a further article announcing the launch of Lime in Auckland and Christchurch on 15 October, and ONZO by the end of the monht, Make no mistake – the needle has already jumped forward in this groove.
This truly is a personal transportation revolution unfolding before our eyes – and in very short measure!
“…[B]oth scooter riders and pedestrians will need to learn how to live with each other….[T]here is a bigger goal here – finding alternative, sustainable ways to get people out of their cars and using public transport. That’s where e-scooters and e-bikes can play a big role – getting people to hubs like train and bus stations.
“I think, too, the element of better health, more exercise, getting people outdoors for their commute – all that outweighs the possibility of someone involved in an accident with an e-scooter, especially if that e-scooter etiquette is heeded.”
Segway New Zealand’s view is that regular users are better off buying their own device, such as our best-selling Ninebot by Segway ES2 model ($1,195 including delivery direct from Segway New Zealand, from our Dealers, and from dozens of Retailers nationwide including Bike Barn and Bikes & Barbers).
As Rod Drury (Xero) says about his Segway KickScooter: “I love my ES2…[it] has transformed Wellington for me. I set meetings on the other side of town now”
We also think that about half of the people buying KickScooters today would be better served by buying one of our self-balancing mini-Series devices: Segway miniPRO ($1,495) or Segway miniPLUS ($1,895). Here’s why.
Self-balancing personal transports bring a number of benefits over KickScooters, but many people have actually get on and try one to discover this for themselves. These include the ability to move very slowly in crowded situations whilst taking up no more space that a standing person. A rider can also wait at rest without dismounting (such as at pedestrian crossings). A more comfortable ride comes hand-in-hand with larger pneumatic tyres, along with the ability to cross rougher terrain and climb steeper hills with ease. Weight and size of the mini-Series devices is similar to a KickScooter when lifting in or out of a car or carrying up stairs, yet the footprint may be smaller when you’re taking your device with you on public transport. Why not try out all of our Segway options today so you can find out what suits you best?