Global micromobility company Beam will launch a trial of e-scooters in Whanganui from Thursday 23 June with up to 100 e-scooters to be introduced across the city.
Beam’s industry-leading e-scooters will be available for use 7 days a week. During the trial, the scooters will be operational from 6am to 10pm within parts of the Whanganui central business district and surrounding suburbs, improving transport options and connections for both leisure and commuting.
The launch follows a successful Beam Safe Academy at the Whanganui River Markets, where attendees were able to trial the e-scooters and familiarise themselves with the safety features.
Attendees also had the opportunity to contribute to how the trial will work, including suggesting where designated parking or “virtual docking” sites for the scooters could be situated.
Another Beam Safe Academy will be held this Saturday 25 June at the same location.
With the trial launch, the app-based service will feature affordable pay-as-you-go rates, with a $1 unlock fee and $0.45 per minute.
Beam’s operating area will include the areas of College Estate, Whanganui East, Bastia Hill, Gonville and Springvale.
The Beam offering will include:
Beam’s flagship rider education and enforcement program, the Beam Safe Academy, will also be in place, including:
Beam’s General Manager (ANZ) Tom Cooper said:
“We’re excited to be bringing our e-scooters to the streets of Whanganui this week, introducing a new carbon-neutral, affordable and fun form of transportation for both visitors and locals alike.
“Safety for both riders and pedestrians is our biggest priority, and our industry-leading e-scooters feature tip-resistant kickstands, a helmet with every ride, and an in-app Safety Quiz to educate riders on how to ride safely.”
“We look forward to working collaboratively with the Whanganui District Council, Whanganui & Partners and the local community over the trial period.”
Whanganui District Council Chief Executive, David Langford, said:
“The council welcomes the trial of e-scooters, which will run until March 2024. It was encouraging to hear that plenty of people came along to Beam’s pre-trial safety session at the Whanganui River Markets to hear more about the climate benefits of this form of transport and to try using a Beam e-scooter for themselves.
“From the council’s perspective this transport option is a positive addition to our city. Nonetheless, it’s important that even people who don’t intend to use e-scooters have the opportunity to understand what safety and compliance measures will look like.”
This includes the controls that Beam has in place to restrict scooter use, including through technology that effectively prevents the scooters from working outside of designated areas and timeframes.
“Obviously the council is very mindful of things like pedestrian safety, parking and the enjoyment of our outdoor spaces and amenities for everyone. Our current agreement with Beam has excluded the lower part of Victoria Avenue from the e-scooter trial. In addition to this ‘no-go’ zone, there are no parking zones, including the riverside shared pathways, and as this is a trial, we will continue to work with Beam to determine the designated parking areas for scooters.
We’ve also put in place restricted speed areas or “slow zones” where scooters will be unable to exceed 15 km per hour. Added to this Beam have committed to clear timeframes around retrieving scooters if they have been incorrectly parked.”
“We are encouraged by the fact that Beam have already worked closely with councils to successfully trial and launch their e-scooters in Palmerston North and Whangarei and I recommend people explore the Beam App or check out their comprehensive safety information online.”
Hannah Middleton, Chief Executive, Whanganui & Partners, said:
“Like many people in our community, our Whanganui & Partners team is looking forward to using Beam scooters beginning this week. The e-scooters are a handy option for moving between meetings around Whanganui and they will certainly come in useful for our team, which prefers not to use vehicles whenever possible.”
“We think starting out the way Beam has, with a pre-launch safety day and clear guidelines around where the e-scooters can be used, is a great way to responsibly introduce the scooters to Whanganui users.”
“We hope lots of businesses are now considering how the e-scooters will be useful for them. The Beam Booster platform may be a great fit for some retailers, while other businesses may find the e-scooters a useful option for their staff to get around.”
“There is lots of information available on Beam’s website and we encourage the public to get engaged and make the most of this new transport resource.”
“We know many visitors to our city will get great use out of these e-scooters too and we’re so pleased to have this option available as we see increasing visitor numbers now that people can travel more freely.”