As it continues to encourage more alternative transport options in Hamilton, the city council has voted to approve two companies to offer e-bikes and electric scooters for hire.
From July, Lime and Neuron will introduce e-bikes to the city. Hamilton will be the first city in New Zealand to host Neuron's e-bikes but Lime also operates in Auckland and Christchurch.
HCC has granted both companies a 12-month permit to operate up to 500 devices each. Within that number, they can decide the number of e-scooters and e-bikes.
The council's city safe manager Kelvin Powell says: "Up until now, Lime has been the only operator permitted to operate up to 600 personal hire devices in Hamilton and these devices have all been e-scooters. This flexibility will allow Lime and Neuron to determine what is the best mix for Hamilton."
The decision encourages other ways for people to get around, he says.
Helmets are available with each device and both companies' e-bikes would not need to be docked at stations. The devices can be booked via the respective app, the same as the e-scooters.
Singapore brand Neuron mobility's e-bikes have already proven to be a success in Australia. Their fleet will be available to hire across Hamilton, including the CBD, Frankton, Dinsdale, Chartwell, Rototuna and Hamilton East.
The Neuron mobility e-bikes and e-scooters include voice guidance to educate riders on how to travel safely, and a Follow My Ride feature allows riders to share their trip with friends and family in real-time.
The council started to introduce scooters with a trial for Lime in 2019 and has now welcomed applications from other personal hire device companies. The preferred companies were chosen based on several criteria including safety features and maintenance.
Current operating standards and restrictions of use, such as low-speed zones, off-street times and no-scooter zones will remain in place. "Personal hire devices provide an alternative form of transport for people to connect and engage with their communities," says Powell.
"Although only in operation for 21 months, e-scooters have become a popular alternative form of transport for Hamiltonians and visitors. During this time, over 427,000 rides have been taken and over 614,000km travelled."
Single trips with the Neuron device will cost $1 to unlock the e-scooter and 45c per minute thereafter.