30.4 C
Canberra
Thursday, November 26, 2020

Test driving the new e-scooter share scheme

If you’re yet to see the bright orange e-scooters available for hire around town, I could argue that you live under a rock.

The Neuron’s next-generation N3 e-scooters made their debut in the nation’s capital last weekend ready for you (and me) to zoom around the Inner North, Inner South and Belconnen.

Heading out to see what they are like happened in two parts: the first was beside Lake Burley Griffin. 

I saw a lone e-scooter with my name on it, approached it and followed the instructions on the handlebars to download the Neuron app to my phone.

After waiting patiently for the download and filling in some details, I trustingly handed over my card details in excited anticipation to scoot around while our photographer took snaps.

Instead, when I was all set up and ready to scan the QR code to get motoring, I was met with a robotic voice telling me the scooter was out of battery and to choose another.

According to Neuron, the scooter’s batteries last for around 50–60km before needing to be recharged, which can be done conveniently on the street. 

ACT e-scooter rider map.

Queue part two when I found another e-scooter in the middle of Manuka and, with the app already downloaded, scanned the QR code to get started.

Once you scan into the scooter, the app-controlled ‘Helmet Lock’ is released and when unclipped from the scooter, your journey starts.

It’s pretty simple after that, give yourself a little kick-off, then press the accelerator on the handlebars to get going.

The scooters can reach a maximum of 25km per hour (I was only going the non-experienced speed of 15km per hour), but the system’s geofencing controls designated slow zones, no-ride zones and no-parking zones.

Priced at $1 to unlock the e-scooter and 38 cents per minute after, it is not a bad deal. There is even a subscription service for regular users.

The first 750 scooters were rolled out on 19 September and are set to create 75 local jobs for maintenance and sanitising during COVID-19.

Neuron have also confirmed low levels of vandalism of their scooters across Australia, and no cases of e-scooters ending up in Lake Burley Griffin yet.

In the Terms of Service, any broken riding rules may incur a ‘convenience fee’, labelled as representing “some or all of the cost to us remedying your breach”.

Danielle trying out the e-scooter featuring said frizzy hair. Picture Kerrie Brewer.

You can end your ride by parking the scooter in a designated parking zone and clipping the helmet back into its lock.

At the very least I would recommend giving them a go for a ride around the lake or in the city.

And on a style note, put your long frizzy hair in a ponytail to the back of the helmet before letting someone take photos of you and thank me later.

For more news stories: