Flamingo scoots into town

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By DAVID HILL

Pink e-scooters will soon be seen on the streets of Waimakariri.

Following the trend of Christchurch and other urban areas around New Zealand, the Waimakariri District Council has approved a six month trial with Wellington-based Flamingo with pink scooters set to arrive from November 1.

The trial will see pink coloured electric scooters on the streets of Rangiora, Kaiapoi, Woodend and Pegasus.

Mayor Dan Gordon says concerns expressed by retailers, GreyPower and the Waimakariri Access Group were taken into account, with a “geo-fence” to be established in Rangiora which will prevent the scooters from entering the main shopping centre on High and Durham Streets.

There will also be a speed limit of 15kph in each of the towns, as well as conditions around parking locations.

“The critical thing is this is a trial to see how it goes,” Mr Gordon says.

“If there are any issues picked up there’s the ability to discuss that with the operator.

“Without a trial, an e-scooter operator could have come in and set up here anyway, so we are getting ahead of the curve.”

Council staff picked up through the town centre strategies processes that there was an interest in having e-scooters in the district, particularly among young people.

Feedback from the Waimakariri Youth Council indicated there was an interest in having a trial, Mr Gordon says.

Staff consulted with the town centres, GreyPower, the Waimakariri Access Group, the Age-friendly Advisory Group, the four community boards and local youth before inviting e-scooter companies to express an interest.

Flamingo Scooters already has a strong presence of pink e-scooters in Wellington and Christchurch.

“Flamingo is thrilled to be working with the Waimakariri District Council to trial electric scooter sharing in the region,” Flamingo Scooters co-founder Jacksen Love says.

“Flamingo is a first and last mile transport option that helps people get around in a fun, safe and easy way, while reducing their reliance on cars.”

Up to 400 e-scooters are set to be deployed in the district throughout the trial, which is set to run for six months.

The e-scooters will be hired on a per minute basis, with users required to download the Flamingo Scooters app on to their mobile phone.

The app has a map to locate the nearest e-scooter and can be unlocked by scanning the QR code on the handlebar.

Hiring an e-scooter will cost a $1 base fee, then 45 cents per minute.