Going green: Lime scooters could soon be a feature of Queenstown streets PICTURE: PETER MCINTOSH

Lime electric scooters could soon be zipping along the footpaths and trails of Queenstown.

The e-scooter hire company is in talks with the Queenstown Lakes District Council about getting a permit to operate in the district.

Council property and infrastructure manager Peter Hansby said its discussions with the company were still at an early stage.

‘‘We’re talking to them about some of the things we’d want to see if we were going to agree to anything.’’

The types of conditions being discussed were similar to those already applied in other parts of the country, such as where the e-scooters could operate, parking locations, hours of operation and maximum speeds.

‘‘We’re looking at the particulars that other local authorities have incorporated into their agreements.’’

There was also likely to be a trial period.

Mr Hansby said the district had some differences from the places where Lime e-scooters were already operating, including its many unsealed paths and trails and some relatively steep gradients.

Any decision on issuing a permit was months away.

‘‘They’ve got to decide on when’s the right time to launch, and we’ve got to work through the details of an agreement.’’

Lime public affairs manager Lauren Mentjox could not be reached for comment by deadline.

The San Francisco-based company’s scooters are already operating in New Zealand’s four main centres, including Dunedin, where they were launched in January.

The Dunedin City Council is now exploring ways of regulating e-scooters in the city, including a bylaw.

The scooters were voluntarily recalled in February, at the council’s request, after a malfunction caused their wheels to lock without warning, injuring riders.

As a result, the company agreed to report any serious incidents in the city to the council within 24 hours, and within 48 hours for serious incidents anywhere else.

The scooters must also be mechanically inspected at least once a week.

  • Otago Daily Times