Napier rolls out e-scooters

Beam e-scooters will soon become a regular feature on the streets of Napier.
Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

Napier will test e-scooters and join the growing list of cities using the new urban transportation method.

A two-year trial of Beam scooters is scheduled to begin later this month, with up to 200 available during the warmer months of the year.

The company will work with the city council to launch only a small number of the e-scooters initially, but the number will increase, the council said in a statement.

The move is expected to bring 15 living-wage jobs to Napier, including Beam Safety Ambassadors who will patrol the streets and provide free training for e-scooter riders.

Scooters have proved controversial elsewhere in the country, with critics saying they create safety concerns that mix with pedestrians and vehicles.

and are not as environmentally friendly as their image seems, and produce a lot of CO2 compared to cars.

Napier Deputy Mayor Annette Brosnan said it is good to encourage different modes of transport.

“You now see so many people with e-bikes, e-scooters, going out, and… [it’s good] the more we can make our transportation routes as friendly as possible — for those changes in mindset,” Brosnan said.

The scooters can be rented via an app, paid once or with a subscription.

Beam is already active in Auckland, Wellington, Palmerston North, Whanganui and Whangārei.

The company’s head of sustainability for the region Frederick Conquer believes there is both a need for increased use of e-scooters and plenty of room to grow in New Zealand.

“As micromobility becomes more commonplace in New Zealand, we believe its use will only continue to grow exponentially, with more citizens taking to the streets and leaving their cars behind,” Conquer said.

“As we look forward to expanding our footprint, we are also committed to developing partnerships with local community members and organizations and engaging in discussions about the safe operation of e-scooters to enhance the safety of riders, pedestrians and other road users alike. safeguards.”

The Council’s acting chief executive, Richard Munneke, said the scooters were a fun way to get around, they were successful in other cities and clear guidelines for users would promote safety.

“We are continuously focused on reducing the impacts of climate change. Making e-scooters available is a great initiative to encourage people to choose more climate-friendly modes of transport while reducing dependence on cars,” said Munneke.

“Now that cruise ships have returned, e-scooters also offer visitors to our city a way to easily explore our local attractions.”


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