Brisbane City Council has been working to help essential healthcare employees safely travel to work during the coronavirus pandemic with a shared e-scooter program.
The city’s e-scooter operator Neuron has been offering free passes to public health workers who would otherwise need to use public transport to commute every day. As part of the initiative, e-scooters have been placed in locations that might improve transport options for medical professionals.
The council has been working closely with the company to implement extra precautions to protect riders, such as sanitising e-scooters during daily maintenance, deployment and battery swapping.
Measures have also been introduced to help keep operational staff from catching and spreading the virus, including extra sanitisation practices and revised illness and travel policies.
Tritium E-Mobility Fellow at The University of Queensland, Dr Jake Whitehead, said innovative transport options can support the indispensable health workers who remain on the frontline during COVID-19.
“Electro-mobility options, like e-scooters, provide essential workers with a convenient mode of travel to and from work, while reducing air pollution, which has been linked to severe health impacts globally, including increased death rates due to COVID-19,” he said.
He argued the e-mobility schemes could also form a “crucial component” of Brisbane’s economic recovery following the pandemic.
“By continuing to improve infrastructure and expand the availability of these modes, tourists and locals alike will be able to see more, do more, and spend more in Brisbane, giving a boost to local business, while reducing congestion on our roads and pollution in our air,” he said.
Data from Neuron has shown that since the e-scooters were introduced to the city last year, more than 60% of all rides started or finished within 100 metres of a train station or bus stop. The data also found that 87% of users believe the e-scooter program has created positive impacts for the city of Brisbane.