The Scooter Network: Canberra’s New Transport Craze
Please note: other than for photoshoots, Tammy always wears a helmet when scooting, please make sure you do too!
Most Canberrans – particularly those who have lived interstate – appreciate what a great lifestyle we have here in the ACT. Relaxed, friendly and ultra-convenient, it really does feel like a privilege to live and work here.
Over the past few years, we’ve seen Canberra’s convenience reach new heights with the addition of the light rail and investment in more bicycle lanes and paths.
In 2020, we also welcomed yet another exciting travel option with the arrival of CBR’s new e-scooters. If you’ve been in central Canberra or Belconnen recently, you’ve probably seen them lighting up our nature strips in bright purple and orange.
I first saw the purple ones at Lake Burley Griffin and immediately downloaded the app so I could jump on and go for a ride. Since then I’ve used them to get from the office to the city and back, around Braddon, at the lake, and more.
Here’s my list of top pros and cons for using the scooter network, and my verdict on e-scooters as a new transport method in CBR…
Pro: They’re SUPER fun
After my first ride I was hooked! I’ve since convinced others in our office to give them a go. I regularly head out to the lake to ride one just for fun – whether it’s a short trip or an adventure all the way from Questacon to the Museum.
They even have a phone holder in case you want to keep a map open, and a water bottle holder.
Con: They may be a little fast for some people
There is a slow function on the e-scooters of 15km per hour, which is automatically set when you’re in slow zones such as Lake Burley Griffin. But as soon as you get to a fast zone you can toggle the speed to 25km per hour.
This is pretty fast – especially for some people who may not be particularly experienced with scooters. So although I haven’t had one, I have heard of people having accidents.
Pro: They’re really convenient
To use an e-scooter you just have to download the app (there’s a different app for purple and orange scooters), put in your payment details, scan the scooter’s QR code, and go. You’ll pay an average $24 per hour to use them, and you can choose which scooter to ride based on how much battery life it has versus how long you want to ride it.
The app will show you where all the scooters are, and you can park them just about anywhere. If you leave it outside of a designated parking area (such as on a nature strip) you pay a small fee, otherwise there are plenty of designated parking areas.
Anyone can use e-scooters, except kids under 12 (kids aged 12 to 16 need a parent to supervise). You even get a helmet…just make sure you clip it back in or you’ll be charged an extra fee.
Con: They aren’t always left in responsible places
I’ve read articles about people dumping the new e-scooters in the middle of footpaths or in other irresponsible places where they could get damaged or hurt someone.
You can’t use the e-scooters to travel all over Canberra either. Once you pass into a “no-go zone”, the e-scooter simply stops moving.
Pro: They’re good for the environment
The e-scooters are electric, and are re-charged by mobile teams. Like the GoBoat, they are another great way to get from A to B faster than walking but without the car. You can also save a ton of money on parking.
My final verdict? They’re awesome! If you haven’t tried one yet, download the app and go for an e-scooter ride this weekend!