Canberrans will have a new way to zip around with the territory's shared electric scooter scheme set to kick off this weekend.
The bright orange vehicles from e-scooter company Neuron Mobility will start popping up around the inner north, inner south and Belconnen from Saturday.
Users can access the scooters by downloading Neuron's app. The scooter is unlocked via a QR code, this also unlocks a helmet that is attached to the e-scooter. It will cost $1 to unlock the scooter and 38 cents a minute to ride.
E-scooter operator, Neuron Mobility secured permits to start the scheme from Transport Canberra. It came after the company was chosen to roll out the service last month, along with another e-scooter operator, Beam Mobility.
Altogether there will be 1500 shared e-scooters in the ACT with each company to provide 750.
The e-scooters will be available for anybody 18 and older to use.
Geofencing technology would block the e-scooters from prohibited areas. Once a user rode out of a permitted zone, the e-scooter would be immobilised. Geofencing is also used to set maximum speed limits in each zones.
As well, users can be blocked from parking in certain areas, such as waterways.
There will be on-the-ground workers in Canberra who will be responsible for maintenance. Neuron Mobility chief executive Zachary Wang said he anticipated there would be 75 local jobs created.
"We are delighted to have been awarded a permit to operate in Canberra and look forward to partnering with the Transport Canberra and City Services team to deliver a safe and efficient service," he said.
Neuron Mobility head of communications Joe Oliver said workers would be responsible for sanitising e-scooters. He said users would not have to wipe down e-scooters in between rides but that the number of rides between cleans would be so low.
Mr Oliver said rigorous cleaning measures had been implemented in Brisbane since the coronavirus pandemic.
"Every time [a worker touches] an e-scooter they go through the cleaning motion," he said.
"If you think of all the other things that are touched by people on a daily basis they probably compare very favourably to, you know, a door handle or a button, for instance."
Neuron's e-scooter would also have voice guidance that would tell a user how to use the e-scooter safely. As well, if a rider falls a push notification would be sent through the app to give them an option to seek assistance.
Riders can also share their trip in real time with friends and family.
"Safety is our top priority, it dictates our e-scooter design and also the way we operate them," Mr Wang said.
Beam Mobility is set to launch its operations in the coming weeks.
A Transport Canberra and City Services spokesman said the government had been working on the permits for Beam and Neuron since the companies were announced as the successful operators last month.
"The permits help to define the area of operation, requirements for servicing, redistribution and parking to ensure scooters are available for use and do not present safety and amenity impacts," the spokesman said.
"ACT government will continue to refine the e-scooter locations within the operation areas to further improve the scheme's convenience and accessibility."
The spokesman said an expansion of the shared e-scooter scheme would be considered.
"The e-scooter scheme will operate initially in the city, inner north, inner south and Belconnen," he said.
"Areas for future expansion will be considered based on the success of this current rollout. Usage data will assist in determining future requirements."
E-scooters were legalised in the ACT last December.
The Transport Canberra and City Services spokesman said in that time there had been two reported accidents. Both involved a vehicle and happened on a footpath.