Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Whanganui hops on e-scooter trial

Whanganui District Council will roll out a trial of up to 100 e-scooters across the city later this month.

Council has partnered with global micromobility company, Beam and economic development agency, Whanganui & Partners, to bring Beam’s climate neutral scooters to local streets.

The app-based service will feature affordable pay-as-you-go rates, ‘virtual docking’ (fixed parking), and an in-app and in person safety school for rider education.

Whanganui District Council Chief Executive, David Langford said Council was excited about Beam e-scooters becoming available for Whanganui residents and visitors.

“We are committed to mitigating the impacts of climate change on our district and want to support initiatives that encourage people to adapt their means of transport to ones that are more climate friendly, and reduce dependency on private motor vehicles. E-scooters are great in this sense, especially for people traveling short distances in our inner city area,” he said.

“We believe the collaboration with Beam will also benefit visitors to Whanganui and add to our reputation as a small city packed with local attractions. Many of the larger main centres have already successfully introduced e-scooters as a way for residents and visitors alike to access local attractions and businesses.

“The council has been working closely with the team from Beam to ensure that there are clear guidelines and processes in place for use, and public and scooter user safety. Personally, I love using my e-scooter for the work commute since I moved to Whanganui and I really encourage people to come and try a scooter out for themselves.”

Prior to the launch, the community has ben invited to trial the e-scooters for free and find out more about the trial at the Whanganui River Markets on 18 June.

Beam is the largest micromobility operator in Asia Pacific, with operations across Auckland, Wellington, Palmerston North and Whangārei in New Zealand.

The Beam offering will include:

  • Beam’s Saturn e-scooter fleet: Featuring tip-resistant kickstands, dual brakes, a bluetooth-locked helmet, and swappable batteries
  • Beam Booster for Retail Support: Beam’s Booster platform utilises a blend of GPS-technology, in-app notifications and partner incentives to help stimulate economic activity at the local community level. Participation is free, with applications now open for local businesses in Whanganui via www.ridebeam.com/anz/booster
  • Beam Safety Academy: Because every e-scooter requires a safer rider, Beam will host free in-person training courses, in-app rider education and have 24/7 Safety Ambassadors patrolling the streets.
  • Virtual Docking: Fixed parking docks will be created virtually, using technology and GPS to direct riders to appropriate parking spots through a combination of guidance, incentives, and disincentives.
  • Climate Neutral Operations: Beam is the only operator in ANZ to be Certified Climate Neutral, and has recently announced a pledge to go Carbon Negative by 2025. Beam has been carbon-neutral for the entirety of its New Zealand operations, and is committed to continuing to lead the industry in sustainability, adopting technological advances to reduce its environmental impact.

Beam’s General Manager (ANZ) Tom Cooper said: “We’re thrilled to be piloting Whanganui’s first shared micromobility operations, and to bring our Industry leading e-scooters to the region.”

“We look forward to working collaboratively with local businesses and the local council to bring our safe, affordable and sustainable e-scooters to both residents and visitors.

“As micromobility becomes more commonplace in New Zealand, we believe its usage will only continue to increase exponentially, with more citizens engaging on the streets and leaving their cars behind,” he said.

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